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GERONIMO'S STORY OF HIS LIFE 



' .- 







Ge RON I MO 



Geronimo's 

■ 

Story of His Life 



Taken Down and Edited by 

S. M. BARRETT 



Superintendent of Education^ Lawton, Oklahoma 




NEW YORK 
DUFFIELD & COMPANY 

1907 






Copyright, 1905, by 
S. M. Barrett 

Copyright, 1906, by 

DUFFIEI.D & COMPANY 



Published September, 1906 






a » • ••• • • ■ * ' * " 

• «,.* •.*•*»• •••••■ • 



DEDICATORY 

Because he has given me permission to tell 
my story ; because he has read that story and 
knows I try to speak the truth; because I 
believe that he is fair-minded and will cause 
my people to receive justice in the future; 
and because he is chief of a great people, I 
dedicate this story of my life to Theodore 
Roosevelt, President of the United States. 

Geronimo. 



in 



281640 



PREFACE 

The initial idea of the compilation of 
this work was to give the reading public 
an authentic record of the private life of the 
Apache Indians, and to extend to Geronimo 
as a prisoner of war the courtesy due any- 
captive, L e., the right to state the causes 
which impelled him in his opposition to our 
civilization and laws. 

If the Indians' cause has been properly 
presented, the captives' defense clearly 
stated, and the general store of informa- 
tion regarding vanishing types increased, I 
shall be satisfied. 

I desire to acknowledge valuable sug- 
gestions from Maj. Charles Taylor, Fort 
Sill, Oklahoma; Dr. J. M. Greenwood, 
Kansas City, Missouri, and President David 
R. Boyd, of the University of Oklahoma. 



PREFACE 

I especially desire in this connection to 
say that without the kindly advice and as- 
sistance of President Theodore Roosevelt 
this book could not have been written. 

Respectfully, 

S. M. Barrett. 

Lawton, Oklahoma. 
August 14, 1906. 



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CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

Introductory xi 

PART I 
The Apaches 

I. Origin of the Apache Indians ... 3 

II. Subdivisions of the Apache Tribe . . 12 

III. Early Life 17 

IV. Tribal Amusements, Manners, and 

Customs 26 

V. The Family 35 

PART II 

The Mexicans 

VI. Kas-Ki-Yeh 43 

VII. Fighting under Difficulties ... 55 

VIII. Raids that were Successful ... 69 

IX. Varying Fortunes 79 

X. Other Raids 86 

XI. Heavy Fighting 98 

XII. Geronimo's Mightiest Battle . . . 105 

vii 



CONTENTS 

PART III 

The White Men N 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XIII. Coming of the White Men . . . 113 

XIV. Greatest of Wrongs 116 

XV. Removals 126 

XVI. In Prison and on the Warpath . . 131 

XVII. The Final Struggle 139 

XVIII. Surrender of Geronimo . . . . 148 

XIX. A Prisoner of War 177 

PART IV 

The Old and the New 

XX. Unwritten Laws of the Apaches . 185 

XXI. At the World's Fair 197 

XXII. Religion 207 

XXIII. Hopes for the Future 213 



Vlll 



I 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Geronimo ...... Frontispiece 

How the book was made . . Facing page vi 

Dressed as in days of old ... 8 

Naiche (Natches), son of Cochise, heredi- 
tary chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. 
Naiche was Geronimo's lieutenant during 
the protracted wars in Arizona . . 14 

Last of the Bedonkohe Apache Tribe, Tuk- 
lonnen, Nadeste, Mah-ta-neal, Porico 

I (White Horse) 18 

Work stock in Apache corral . • . 22 

The conquered weapon .... SO 

Apache princess, daughter of Naiche, chief 

of the Chiricahua Apaches . . . 38 

Geronimo, Chihuahua, Nanne, Loco, Ozonne . 46 

Naiche, his mother, his two wives and his 

children ...... 50 

Asa Deklugie, wife and children . . 66 

Apache scouts — Naiche, Goody, John Loco, 
Porico, Chatto, Asa Deklugie, Jason, James, 
Allen, Captain Seyers .... 70 

Three Apache chieftains — Naiche, son of 
Cochise ; Asa, son of Whoa ; Charlie, son 
of Victoria . . . . . . . 80 

be 



x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Apache camp .... Facing page 86 

Apache mission — Valley of Medicine Creek, 

Fort Sill Military Reservation . . 96* 

Asa Deklugie (official interpreter for Geron- 
imo, son of Whoa, chief of the Nedni 
Apaches, chief elect to succeed Geronimo 
at the latter's death) 
Geronimo, Apache war chief . . . 100 

Lone Wolfe, chief of Kiowas 

Geronimo, Apache war chief . . . 108 

Quanah Parker, chief of Comanche Indians 1 1 8 

Gotebo, war chief, Kiowa Indians . . 144 

Kaytah and Mahteen, Apache scouts who 

were with General Lawton . . 152 

Emma Tuklonnen . . . . . 162 

W. F. Melton, at whose camp in Skeleton 

Canon Geronimo surrendered . . 172 

Chihuahua and family . . . . 190 

Mrs. Asa Deklugie, niece of Geronimo and 
daughter of Chihuahua, a famous Apache 
chieftain ...... 200 

Eva Geronimo, Geronimo's youngest daugh- 
ter, 16 years old ..... 200 

Ready for church . • • • .. 210 



INTRODUCTORY 

I first met Geronimo in the summer of 
1904, when I acted for him as interpreter of 
English into Spanish, and vice versa, in sell- 
ing a war bonnet. After that he always had 
a pleasant word for me when we met, but 
never entered into a general conversation 
with me until he learned that I had once 
been wounded by c Mexican. As soon as 
he was told of this, he came to see me and 
expressed freely his opinion of the average 
Mexican, and his aversion to all Mexicans in 
general. 

I invited him to visit me again, which he 
did, and upon his invitation, I visited him at 
his tepee in the Fort Sill Military res- 
ervation. 

In the summer of 1905 Dr. J. M. Green- 
wood, superintendent of schools at Kansas 

xi 



INTRODUCTORY 

City, Missouri, visited me, and I took him 
to see the chief. Geronimo was quite 
formal and reserved until Dr. Greenwood 
said, " I am a friend of General Howard, 
whom I have heard speak of you." 
" Come," said Geronimo, and led the way 
to a shade, had seats brought for us, put 
on his war bonnet, and served watermelon 
a V Apache (cut in big chunks), while he 
talked freely and cheerfully. When we left 
he gave us a pressing invitation to visit him 
again. 

In a few days the old chief came to see 
me and asked about " my father." I said 
" you mean the old gentleman from Kansas 
City — he has returned to his home." " He 
is you father?" said Geronimo. "No," I 
said, "my father died twenty-five years 
ago, Dr. Greenwood is only my friend." 
After a moment's silence the old Indian 
spoke again, this time in a tone of voice in- 
tended to carry conviction, or at least to 
allow no further discussion. " Your natural 

• • 
XII 



INTRODUCTORY 

father is dead, this man has been your friend 
and adviser from youth. By adoption he is 
your father. Tell him he is welcome to 
come to my home at any time." It was of 
no use to explain any more, for the old man 
had determined not to understand my rela- 
tion to Dr. Greenwood except in accordance 
with Indian customs, and I let the matter 
drop. 

In the latter part of that summer I asked 
the old chief to allow me to publish some of 
the things he had told me, but he objected, 
saying, however, that if I would pay him, 
and if the officers in charge did not object, 
he would tell me the whole story of his life. 
I immediately called at the fort (Fort Sill) 
and asked the officer in charge, Lieutenant 
Purington, for permission to write the life 
of Geronimo. I was promptly informed 
that the privilege would not be granted. 
Lieutenant Purington explained to me the 
many depredations committed by Geronimo 
and his warriors, and the enormous cost of 

• • • 
Xlll 



\ 



INTRODUCTORY 

subduing the Apaches, adding that the old 
Apache deserved to be hanged rather than 
spoiled by so much attention from civilians. 
A suggestion from me that our government 
had paid many soldiers and officers to go 
to Arizona and kill Geronimo and the 
Apaches, and that they did not seem to know 
how to do it, did not prove very gratifying 
to the pride of the regular army officer, and 
I decided to seek elsewhereTor permission. 
Accordingly I wrote to President Roosevelt 
that here was an old Indian who had been 
held a prisoner of war for twenty years and 
had never been given a chance to tell his side 
of the story, and asked that Geronimo be 
granted permission to tell for publication, in 
his own way, the story of his life, and that 
he be guaranteed that the publication of his 
story would not affect unfavorably the 
Apache prisoners of war. By return mail 
I received word that the authority had been 
granted. In a few days I received word 
from Fort Sill that the President had 

xiv 



INTRODUCTORY 

ordered the officer in charge to grant per- 
mission as requested. An interview was re- 
quested that I might receive the instructions 
of the War Department. When I went to 
Fort Sill the officer in command handed me 
the following brief, which constituted my 
instructions : 

Lawton, Oklahoma, Aug. 12th, 1905. 

Geronimo, — Apache Chief — 

S. M. Barrett, Supt. Schools. 

Letter to the President stating that above-men- 
tioned desires to tell his life story that it may be pub- 
lished, and requests permission to tell it in his own 
way, and also desires assurance that what he has to 
say will in no way work a hardship for the Apache 
tribe. 



1st Endorsement. 

War Dapartment, 
The Military Secretary's Office, 
Washington, August 25th, 1905. 
Respectfully referred, by direction of the Acting 
Chief of Staff, through headquarters, Department of 

xv 



INTRODUCTORY 

Texas, to the Officer In Charge of the Apache pris- 
oners of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory, for 
remark and recommendation. 

(Signed) E. F. Ladd, 
Military Secretary. 



2d Endorsement. 

Headquarters Department of Texas, 

Military Secretary's Office, 
San Antonio, August 29th, 1905. 
Respectfully transmitted to 1st Lieut. George A. 
Purington, 8th Cavalry, In Charge of Apache pris- 
oners. (Thro' Commanding Officer, Fort Sill, O. T.) 
By Command of Brigadier General Lee. 

(Signed) C. D. Roberts, 
Captain, 7th Infantry, 
Acting Military Secretary. 



3d Endorsement. 

Fort Sill, O. T., Aug. 31st, 1905. 
Respectfully referred to 1st Lieut. G. A. Puring- 
tion, 8th Cavalry, Officer in Charge of Apache pris- 
oners of war, for remark and recommendation. 
By Order of Captain Dade. 

(Signed) James Lonostreet, 
1st. Lieut. & Sqdn. Adjt., 13th Cavalry. Adjutant. 

xvi 



INTRODUCTORY 

Jf.th Endorsement, 

Fort Sill, O. T., Sept. 2d, 1905. 
Respectfully returned to the Adjutant, Fort Sill, 
O. T. I can see no objection to Geronimo telling the 
story of his past life, providing he tells the truth. I 
would recommend that Mr. S. M. Barrett be held 
responsible for what is written and published. 

(Signed) Geo. A. Purington, 

1st. Lieut. 8th Cavalry, 
In Charge of Apache prisoners of war. 



5th Endorsement. 

Fort Sill, O. T., Sept. 4th, 1905. 
Respectfully returned to the Military Secretary, 
Dept. of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, inviting atten- 
tion to 4th endorsement hereon. It is recommended 
that the manuscript be submitted before publication 
to Lieut. Purington, who can pass upon the truth of 
the story. 

(Signed) A. L. Dade, 
Captain, 13th Cavalry, Commanding. 



6th Endorsement. 
Headquarters Dept. of Texas, 
San Antonio, September 8th, 1905. 
Respectfully returned to the Military Secretary, 

xvii 



INTRODUCTORY 

War Department, Washington, D. C, inviting at- 
tention to the preceding endorsement hereon, which 
is concurred in. 

(Signed) J. M. Lee, 
Brigadier General, Commanding. 



7th Endorsement. 

War Department, 
Office of the Chief of Staff, 
Washington, September 13th, 1905. 
Respectfully submitted to the Honorable the Sec- 
retary of War, inviting attention to the foregoing 
endorsements. 

(Signed) J. C. Bates, 
Major General, Acting Chief of Staff. 



8th Endorsement. 

War Department, 
September 15th, 1905. 
Respectfully returned to the Acting Chief of Staff 
to grant the necessary authority in this matter, 
through official channels, with the express understand- 
ing that the manuscript of the book shall be submitted 
to him before publication. Upon receipt of such 
manuscript the Chief of Staff will submit it to such 
person as he may select as competent to make a 

xviii 



INTRODUCTORY 

proper and critical inspection of the proposed pub- 
lication. 

(Signed) Robert Shaw Oliver, 

Acting Secretary of War. 



9th Endorsement. 

War Department, 
The Military Secretary's Office, 
Washington, September 18th, 1905. 
Respectfully returned, by direction of the Acting 
Chief of Staff, to the Commanding General, Dept. of 
Texas, who will give the necessary instructions for 
carrying out the directions of the Acting Secretary 
of War, contained in the 8th endorsement. It is 
desired that Mr. Barrett be advised accordingly. 

(Signed) Henry P. McCain, 

Military Secretary. 



10th Endorsement. 

Headquarters Dept. of Texas, 
Military Secretary's Office, 
San Antonio, September 23, 1905. 
Respectfully referred to the Commanding Officer, 
Fort Sill, Oklahoma Territory, who will give the 
necessary instructions for carrying out the direction 
of the Acting Secretary of War contained in the 8th 
endorsement hereon. 

six 



INTRODUCTORY 

This paper will be shown and fully explained to 
Mr. Barrett, and then returned to these headquarters. 
By order of Colonel Hughes. 

(Signed) Geo. Van Horn Moseley, 
1st. Lieut. 1st Cavalry, Aide-de-Camp, 

Acting Military Secretary. 

Early in October I secured the services of 
an educated Indian, Asa Deklugie, son of 
Whoa, chief of the Nedni Apaches, as in- 
terpreter, and the work of compiling the 
book began. 

Geronimo refused to talk when a stenog- 
rapher was present, or to wait for correc- 
tions or questions when telling the story. 
Each day he had in mind what he would tell 
and told it in a very clear, brief manner. 
He might prefer to talk at his own tepee, at 
Asa Deklugie's house, in some mountain 
dell, or as he rode in a swinging gallop across 
the prairie; wherever his fancy led him, 
there he told whatever he wished to tell and 
no more. On the day that he first gave any 
portion of his autobiography he would not 

XX 



INTRODUCTORY 

be questioned about any details, nor would 
he add another word, but simply said, 
" Write what I have spoken," and left us 
to remember and write the story without one 
bit of assistance. He would agree, however, 
to come on another day to my study, or any 
place designated by me, and listen to the 
reproduction (in Apache) of what had been 
told, and at such times would answer all 
questions or add information wherever he 
could be convinced that it was necessary. 

He soon became so tired of book making 
that he would have abandoned the task but 
for the fact that he had agreed to tell the 
complete story. When he once gives his 
word, nothing will turn him from fulfilling 
his promise. A very striking illustration of 
this was furnished by him early in January, 
1906. He had agreed to come to my study 
on a certain date, but at the appointed hour 
the interpreter came alone, and said that 
Geronimo was very sick with cold and fever. 
He had come to tell me that we must ap- 

xxi 



INTRODUCTORY 

point another date, as he feared the old war- 
rior had an attack of pneumonia. It was a 
cold day and the interpreter drew a chair up 
to the grate to warm himself after the ex- 
posure of the long ride. Just as he was 
seating himself he looked out of the window, 
then rose quickly, and without speaking 
pointed to a rapidly moving object coming 
our way. In a moment I recognized the old 
chief riding furiously (evidently trying to 
arrive as soon as the interpreter did), his 
horse flecked with foam and reeling from 
exhaustion. Dismounting he came in and 
said in a hoarse whisper, " I promised to 
come. I am here." 

I explained to him that I had not ex- 
pected him to come on such a stormy day, 
and that in his physical condition he must 
not try to work. He stood for some time, 
and then without speaking left the room, re- 
mounted his tired pony, and with bowed 
head faced ten long miles of cold north wind 
— he had kept his promise. 

xxii 



INTRODUCTORY 

When he had finished his story I sub- 
mitted the manuscript to Major Charles W. 
Taylor, Eighteenth Cavalry, commandant, 
Fort Sill, Oklahoma, who gave me some val- 
uable suggestions as to additional related 
information which I asked Geronimo to 
give. In most cases the old chief gave the 
desired information, but in some instances 
he refused, stating his reasons for so doing. 

When the added information had been in- 
corporated I submitted the manuscript to 
President Roosevelt, from whose letter I 
quote: " This is a very interesting volume 
which you have in manuscript, but I would 
advise that you disclaim responsibility in all 
cases where the reputation of an individual 
is assailed." 

In accordance with that suggestion, I 
have appended notes throughout the book 
disclaiming responsibility for adverse criti- 
cisms of any persons mentioned by Ge- 
ronimo. 

On JTune 2d, 1906, I transmitted the 

xxiii 



INTRODUCTORY 

complete manuscript to the War Depart- 
ment. The following quotation is from the 
letter of transmission : 

" In accordance with endorsement number eight of 
the ' Brief ' submitted to me by the commanding 
officer of Fort Sill, which endorsement constituted the 
instructions of the Department, I submit herewith 
manuscript of the Autobiography of Geronimo. 

" The manuscript has been submitted to the Presi- 
dent, and at his suggestion I have disclaimed any 
responsibility for the criticisms (made by Geronimo) 
of individuals mentioned." 

Six weeks after the manuscript was for- 
warded, Thomas C. Barry, Brigadier Gen- 
eral, Assistant to the Chief of Staff , sent to 
the President the following: 

" Memorandum for the Secretary of War. 
" Subject: Manuscript of the Autobiography of 
Geronimo. The paper herewith, which was referred 
to this office on July 6th, with instructions to report 
as to whether there is anything objectionable in it, is 
returned. 

" The manuscript is an interesting autobiography 
of a notable Indian, made by himself. There are a 

xxiv 



INTRODUCTORY 

number of passages which, from the departmental 
point of view, are decidedly objectionable. These are 
found on pages 73, 74, 90, 91, and 97, and are indi- 
cated by marginal lines in red. The entire manu- 
script appears in a way important as showing the 
Indian side of a prolonged controversy, but it is 
believed that the document, either in whole or in part, 
should not receive the approval of the War De- 
partment." 

The memorandum is published that the 
objections of the War Department may be 
made known to the public. 

The objection is raised to the mention on 
pages seventy-three and seventy- four of the 
manuscript of an attack upon Indians in a 
tent at Apache Pass or Bowie, by U. S. 
soldiers. The statement of Geronimo is, 
however, substantially confirmed by L. C. 
Hughes, editor of The, Star, Tucson, 
Arizona. 

On pages ninety and ninety-one of the 
manuscript, Geronimo criticised General 
Crook. This criticism is simply Geronimo's 
private opinion of General Crook. We 

XXV 



INTRODUCTORY 

deem it a personal matter and leave it with- 
out comment, as it in no way concerns the 
history of the Apaches. 

On page ninety-seven of the manuscript 
Geronimo accuses General Miles of bad 
faith. Of course, General Miles made the 
treaty with the Apaches, but we know very 
well that he is not responsible for the way 
the Government subsequently treated the 
prisoners of war. However, Geronimo can- 
not understand this and fixes upon General 
Miles the blame for what he calls unjust 
treatment. 

One could not expect the Department of 
War to approve adverse criticisms of its 
own acts, but it is especially gratifying that 
such a liberal view has been taken of these 
criticisms, and also that such a frank state- 
ment of the merits of the Autobiography is 
submitted in the memorandum. Of course 
neither the President nor the War Depart- 
ment is in any way responsible for what 
Geronimo says ; he has simply been granted 

xxvi 



INTRODUCTORY 

the opportunity to state his own case as he 
sees it. 

The fact that Geronimo has told the story 
in his own way is doubtless the only excuse 
necessary to offer for the many unconven- 
tional features of this work. 



xxvu 



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• • • » »••».». » •. ». • • 



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• • • > 



... A :..:rv :•%!'•! :.-■ 



PART I 
THE APACHES 



> .» 



GERONIMO 

CHAPTER I 

ORIGIN OF THE APACHE INDIANS 

IN the beginning the world was covered 
with darkness. There was no sun, no 
day. The perpetual night had no moon or 
stars. 

There were, however, all manner of beasts 
and birds. Among the beasts were many 
hideous, nameless monsters, as well as 
dragons, lions, tigers, wolves, foxes, beavers, 
rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, and all manner 
of creeping things such as lizards and ser- 
pents. Mankind could not prosper under 
such conditions, for the beasts and serpents 
destroyed all human offspring. 

All creatures had the power of speech and 
were gifted with reason. 

There were two tribes of creatures: the 
birds or the feathered tribe and the beasts. 

3 



GERONIMO 

The former were organized under their 
chief, the eagle. 

These tribes often held councils, and the 
birds wanted light admitted. This the beasts 
repeatedly refused to do. Finally the birds 
made war against the beasts. 

The beasts were armed with clubs, but the 
eagle had taught his tribe to use bows and 
arrows. The serpents were so wise that they 
could not all be killed. One took refuge in 
a perpendicular cliff of a mountain in Ari- 
zona, and his eye (changed into a brilliant 
stone) may be seen in that rock to this day. 
The bears, when killed, would each be 
changed into several other bears, so that the 
more bears the feathered tribe killed, the 
more there were. The dragon could not be 
killed, either, for he was covered with 
four coats of horny scales, and the arrows 
would not penetrate these. One of the 
most hideous, vile monsters (nameless) was 
proof against arrows, so the eagle flew 
high up in the air with a round, white 

4 



ORIGIN OF THE APACHE 

stone, and let it fall on this monster's 
head, killing him instantly. This was such 
a good service that the stone was called 
sacred. (A symbol of this stone is used in 
the tribal game of Kah. 1 ) They fought 
for many days, but at last the birds won the 
victory. 

After this war was over, although some 
evil beasts remained, the birds were able to 
control the councils, and light was admitted. 
Then mankind could live and prosper. The 
eagle was chief in this good fight: therefore, 
his feathers were worn by man as emblems 
of wisdom, justice, and power. 

Among the few human beings that were 
yet alive was a woman who had been blessed 
with many children, but these had always 
been destroyed by the beasts. If by any 
means she succeeded in eluding the others, 
the dragon, who was very wise and very evil, 
would come himself and eat her babes. 

After many years a son of the rainstorm 

i See Chapter IV. 
5 



GERONIMO 

was born to her and she dug for him a deep 
cave. The entrance to this cave she closed 
and over the spot built a camp fire.. This 
concealed the babe's hiding place and kept 
him warm. Every day she would remove 
the fire and descend into the cave, where the 
child's bed was, to nurse him; then she 
would return and rebuild the camp fire. 

Frequently the dragon would come and 
question her, but she would say, " I have no 
more children; you have eaten all of them." 

When the child was larger he would not 
always stay in the cave, for he sometimes 
wanted to run and play. Once the dragon 
saw his tracks. Now this perplexed and en- 
raged the old dragon, for he could not find 
the hiding place of the boy; but he said that 
he would destroy the mother if she did not 
reveal the child's hiding place. The poor 
mother was very much troubled; she could 
not give up her child, but she knew the 
power and cunning of the dragon, therefore 

she lived in constant fear. 

6 



ORIGIN OF THE APACHE 

Soon after this the boy said that he 
wished to go hunting. The mother would 
not give her consent. She told him of the 
dragon, the wolves, and the serpents; but he 
said, " To-morrow I go." 

At the boy's request his uncle (who was 
the only man then living) made a little bow 
and some arrows for him, and the two went 
hunting the next day. They trailed the deer 
far up the mountain and finally the boy 
killed a buck. His uncle showed him how to 
dress the deer and broil the meat. They 
broiled two hind quarters, one for the child 
and one for his uncle. When the meat was 
done they placed it on some bushes to cool. 
Just then the huge form of the dragon ap- 
peared. The child was not afraid, but his 
uncle was so dumb with fright that he did 
not speak or move. 

The dragon took the boy's parcel of meat 
and went aside with it. He placed the meat 
on another bush and seated himself beside 
it. Then he said, " This is the child I have 

7 



GERONIMO 

been seeking. Boy, you are nice and fat, 
so when I have eaten this venison I shall eat 
you." The boy said, " No, you shall not eat 
me, and you shall not eat that meat." So he 
walked over to where the dragon sat and 
took the meat back to his own seat. The 
dragon said, " I like your courage, but you 
are foolish; what do you think you could 
do?" "Well," said the boy, "I can do 
enough to protect myself, as you may find 
out." Then the dragon took the meat again, 
and then the boy retook it. Four times in 
all the dragon took the meat, and after the 
fourth time the boy replaced the meat he 
said, "Dragon, will you fight me?" The 
dragon said, " Yes, in whatever way you 
like." The boy said, " I will stand one hun- 
dred paces distant from you and you may 
have four shots at me with your bow and 
arrows, provided that you will then ex- 
change places with me and give me four 
shots." " Good," said the dragon. " Stand 
up. 

8 




Dressed as ix Days of Old 



'F 



\ ORIGIN OF THE APACHE 

Then the dragon took his bow, which was 
made of a large pine tree. He took four ar- 
rows from his quiver; they were made of 
young pine tree saplings, and each arrow 
was twenty feet in length. He took delib- 
erate aim, but just as the arrow left the bow 
the boy made a peculiar sound and leaped 
into the air. Immediately the arrow was 
shivered into a thousand splinters, and the 
boy was seen standing on the top of a bright 
rainbow over the spot where the dragon's 
aim had been directed. Soon the rainbow was 
gone and the boy was standing on the ground 
again. Four times this was repeated, then 
the boy said, "Dragon, stand here; it is my 
time to shoot." The dragon said, "All 
right; your little arrows cannot pierce my 
first coat of horn, and I have three other 
coats — -shoot away." The boy shot an ar- 
row, striking the dragon just over the heart, 
and one coat of the great horny scales fell 
to f e ground. The next shot another coat, 
ana then another, and the dragon's heart was 

9 



GERONIMO 

exposed. Then the dragon trembled, but 
could not move. Before the fourth arrow 
was shot the boy said, "Uncle, you are 
dumb with fear; you have not moved; come 
here or the dragon will fall on you." His 
uncle ran toward him. Then he sped the 
fourth arrow with true aim, and it pierced 
the dragon's heart. With a tremendous 
roar the dragon rolled down the mountain 
side — down four precipices into a canon 
below. 

Immediately storm clouds swept the moun- 
tains, lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and 
the rain poured. When the rainstorm had 
passed, far down in the canon below, they 
could see fragments of the huge body of the 
dragon lying among the rocks, and the bones 
of this dragon may still be found there. 

This boy's name was Apache. Usen 2 
taught him how to prepare herbs for medi- 

2 Usen is the Apache word for God. It is used here be- 
cause it implies the attributes of deity that are held in 
their primitive religion. " Apache " means " Enemy." 

10 



ORIGIN OF THE APACHE 

cine, how to hunt, and how to fight. He was 
the first chief of the Indians and wore the 
eagle's feathers as the sign of justice, wis- 
dom, and power. To him, and to his people, 
as they were created, Usen gave homes in the 
land of the west. 



11 



CHAPTER II 

SUBDIVISIONS OF THE APACHE TRIBE 

THE Apache Indians are divided into 
six sub-tribes. To one of these, the 
Be-don-ko-he, I belong. 

Our tribe inhabited that region of moun- 
tainous country which lies west from the east 
line of Arizona, and south from the head- 
waters of the Gila River. 

East of us lived the Chi-hen-ne (Ojo 
Caliente), (Hot Springs) Apaches. Our 
tribe never had any difficulty with them. 
Victoria, their chief, was always a friend to 
me. He always helped our tribe when we 
asked him for help. He lost his life in the 
defense of the rights of his people. He was 
a good man and a brave warrior. His son 
Charlie now lives here in this reservation 
with us. 

12 






THE APACHE TRIBE 

North of us lived the White Mountain 
Apaches. They were not always on the best 
of terms with our tribe, yet we seldom had 
any war -with them. I knew their chief, 
Hash-ka-ai-la, personally, and I considered 
him a good warrior. Their range was next 
to that of the Navajo Indians, who were not 
of the same blood as the Apaches. We held 
councils with all Apache tribes, but never 
with the Navajo Indians. However, we 
traded with them and sometimes visited 
them. 

To the west of our country ranged the 
Chi-e-ajien Apaches. They had two chiefs 
within my time, Co-si-to and Co-da-hoo-yah. 
They were friendly, but not intimate with 
our tribe. 

South of us lived the Cho-kon-en ( Chiri- 
cahua) Apaches, whose chief in the old days 
was Co-chise, and later his son, Naiche. This 
tribe was always on the most friendly terms 
with us. We were often in camp and on 
the trail together. Naiche, who was my 

13 



GERONIMO 

companion in arms, is now my companion 
in bondage. 

To the south and west of us lived the 
Ned-ni Apaches. Their chief was Whoa, 
called by the Mexicans Capitan Whoa. 
They were our firm friends. The land of 
this tribe lies partly in Old Mexico and 
partly in Arizona. 1 Whoa and I often 
camped and fought side by side as brothers. 
My enemies were his enemies, my friends his 
friends. He is dead now, but his son Asa is 
interpreting this story for me. 

Still the four tribes (Bedonkohe, Cho- 
konen, Chihenne, and Nedni) , who were fast 
friends in the days of freedom, cling to- 
gether as they decrease in number. Only the 
destruction of all our people would dissolve 
our bonds of friendship. 

i The boundary lines established at different times be- 
tween Mexico and the United States did not conform to 
the boundary lines of these Apache tribes, of course, and 
the Indians soon saw and took advantage of the inter- 
national questions arising from the conflicting interests of 
the two governments. 

14 




Naiche (Natches), son of Cohise. Hereditary chief of the 

Chiricahua Apaches. Naiche was Geronimo's lieutenant 

during the protracted wars in Arizona 



THE APACHE TRIBE 

We are vanishing from the earth, yet I 
cannot think we are useless or Usen would 
not have created us. He created all tribes 
of men and certainly had a righteous pur- 
pose in creating each. 

For each tribe of men Usen created He 
also made a home. In the land created for 
any particular tribe He placed whatever 
would be best for the welfare of that 
tribe. 

When Usen created the Apaches He also 
created their homes in the West. He gave 
to them such grain, fruits, and game as they 
needed to eat. To restore their health when 
disease attacked them He made many differ- 
ent herbs to grow. He taught them where to 
find these herbs, and how to prepare them 
for medicine. He gave them a pleasant cli- 
mate and all they needed for clothing and 
shelter was at hand. 

Thus it was in the beginning: the Apaches 
and their homes each created for the other 
by Usen himself. When they are taken 

15 



GERONIMO 

from these homes they sicken and die. How 
long 2 will it be until it is said, there are no 
Apaches? 

2 The Apache Indians held prisoners of war are greatly 
decreasing in numbers. There seems to be no particular 
cause, but nevertheless their numbers grow smaller. 



16 



CHAPTER III 

EARLY LIFE 

1WAS born in No-doyohn Canon, Ari- 
zona, June, 1829. 
In that country which lies around the 
headwaters of the Gila River I was reared. 
This range was our fatherland; among these 
mountains our wigwams were hidden; the 
scattered valleys contained our fields; the 
boundless prairies, stretching away on every 
side, were our pastures; the rocky caverns 
were our burying places. 

I was fourth * in a family of eight chil- 

i Four is a magic number with the Bedonkohe Apaches. 
The dragon had four coats of scales; he took little Apache's 
meat four times; they (the dragon and Apache) exchanged 
four shots — the dragon rolled down four precipices. There 
are four moccasins used in the tribal game of Kah, and 
only four plays that can be made. A boy must accom- 
pany the warriors four times on the warpath before he 
can be admitted to the council. 

Geronimo is the fourth of a family of four boys and 

17 



GERONIMO 

dren — four boys and four girls. Of that 
family, only myself, my brother, Porico 
(White Horse), and my sister, Nah-da-ste, 
are yet alive. We are held as prisoners of 
war in this Military Reservation (Fort 
Sill). 

As a babe I rolled on the dirt floor of my 
father's tepee, hung in my tsoch (Apache 
name for cradle) at my mother's back, or 
suspended from the bough of a tree. I was 
warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds, 
and sheltered by the trees as other Indian 
babes. 

When a child my mother taught me the 
legends of our people ; taught me of the sun 
and sky* the moon and stars, the clouds and 

four girls. He has hart four wives that were full-blood 
Bedonkohe Apaches, and four that were part Bedonkohe 
Apache and part other Apache blood. Four of his children 
have been killed by Mexicans and four have been held in 
bondage by the U. S. Government. He firmly believes in 
destiny and in the magic of the number four. Besides 
Geronimo, only four full-blood Bedonkohe Apaches are now 
living. They are Porico (White Horse), Nah-de-ste, Mah- 
ta-neal, and To-klon-nen. 

18 



,; * 





HBHHB 



EARLY LIFE 

storms. She also taught me to kneel and 
pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, 
and protection. We never prayed against 
any person, but if we had aught against any 
individual we ourselves took vengeance. We 
were taught that Usen does not care for the 
petty quarrels of men. 

My father had often told me of the brave 
deeds of our warriors, of the pleasures of 
the chase, and the glories of the warpath. 

With my brothers and sisters I played 
about my father's home. Sometimes we 
played at hide-and-seek among the rocks and 
pines ; sometimes we loitered in the shade of 
the cottonwood trees or sought the shudock 
(a kind of wild cherry) while our parents 
worked in the field. Sometimes we played 
that we were warriors. We would practice 
stealing upon some object that represented 
an enemy, and in our childish imitation often 
perform the feats of war. Sometimes we 
would hide away from our mother to see if 
she could find us, and often when thus con- 

19 



GERONIMO 

cealed go to sleep and perhaps remain hid- 
den for many hours. 

When we were old enough to be of real 
service we went to the field with our parents : 
not to play, but to toil. When the crops 
were to be planted we broke the ground 
with wooden hoes. We planted the corn in 
straight rows, the beans among the corn, and 
the melons and pumpkins in irregular order 
over the field. We cultivated these crops as 
there was need. 

Our field usually contained about two 
acres of ground. The fields were never 
fenced. It was common for many families 
to cultivate land in the same valley and share 
the burden of protecting the growing crops 
from destruction by the ponies of the tribe, 
or by deer and other wild animals. 

Melons were gathered as they were con- 
sumed. In the autumn pumpkins and beans 
were gathered and placed in bags or baskets ; 
ears of corn were tied together by the husks, 
and then the harvest was carried on the backs 

20 



EARLY LIFE 

of ponies up to our homes. Here the corn 
was shelled, and all the harvest stored away 
in caves or other secluded places to be used 
in winter. 

We never fed corn to our ponies, but if 
we kept them up in the winter time we gave 
them fodder to eat. We had no cattle or 
other domestic animals except our dogs and 
ponies. 

We did not cultivate tobacco, but found 
it growing wild. This we cut and cured in 
autumn, but if the supply ran out the leaves 
from the stalks left standing served our pur- 
pose. All Indians smoked 2 — men and 
women. No boy was allowed to smoke until 
he had hunted alone and killed large game — 
wolves and bears. Unmarried women were 
not prohibited from smoking, but were con- 
sidered immodest if they did so. Nearly all 
matrons smoked. 

2 The Apaches did not smoke the peace pipe, unless it 
was proposed by some other Indians. They had no large 
pipes; in fact, they usually smoked cigarettes made by 
rolling the tobacco in wrappers of oak leaves. 

21 



GERONIMO 

Besides grinding the corn (by hand with 
stone mortars and pestles) for bread, we 
sometimes crushed it and soaked it, and after 
it had fermented made from this juice a 
" tis-win," which had the power of intoxica- 
tion, and was very highly prized by the In- 
dians. This work was done by the squaws 
and children. When berries or nuts were to 
be gathered the small children and the 
squaws would go in parties to hunt them, 
and sometimes stay all day. When they 
went any great distance from camp they 
took ponies to carry the baskets. 

I frequently went with these parties, and 

upon one of these excursions a woman 

named Cho-ko-le got lost from the party 

and was riding her pony through a thicket 

in search of her friends. Her little dog was 

following as she slowly made her way 

through the thick underbrush and pine trees. 

All at once a grizzly bear rose in her path 

and attacked the pony. She jumped off 

and her pony escaped, but the bear at- 

22 






■s : 



o 

3 

O 

c 



*5 

> 

a* 
o 

o 

?8 




EARLY LIFE 

• 

tacked her, so she fought him the best 
she could with her knife. Her little dog, by- 
snapping at the bear's heels and detracting 
his attention from the woman, enabled her 
for some time to keep pretty well out of his 
reach. Finally the grizzly struck her over 
the head, tearing off almost her whole scalp. 
She fell, but did not lose consciousness, and 
while prostrate struck him four good licks 
with her knife, and he retreated. After he 
had gone she replaced her torn scalp and 
bound it up as best she could, then she turned 
deathly sick and had to lie down. That night 
her pony came into camp with his load of 
nuts and berries, but no rider. The Indians 
hunted for her, but did not find her until the 
second day. They carried her home, and un- 
der the treatment of their medicine men all 
her wounds were healed. 

The Indians knew what herbs to use for 
medicine, how to prepare them, and how to 
give the medicine. This they had been 
taught by Usen in the beginning, and each 

23 



GERONIMO 

succeeding generation had men who were 
skilled in the art of healing. 

In gathering the herbs, in preparing them, 
and in administering the medicine, as much 
faith was held in prayer as in the actual ef- 
fect of the medicine. Usually about eight 
persons worked together in making medicine, 
and there were forms of prayer and incanta- 
tions to attend each stage of the process. 
Four attended to the incantations and four 
to the preparation of the herbs. 

Some of the Indians were skilled in cut- 
ting out bullets, arrow heads, and other mis- 
siles with which warriors were wounded. I 
myself have done much of this, using a com- 
mon dirk or butcher knife. 3 

Small children wore very little clothing in 
winter and none in the summer. Women 
usually wore a primitive skirt, which con- 
sisted of a piece of cotton cloth fastened 
about the waist, and extending to the knees. 

s The only foundation for the statement, frequently made$ 
that Geronimo was a medicine man. 

24 



EARLY LIFE 

Men wore breech cloths and moccasins. In 
winter they had shirts and leggings in addi- 
tion. 

Frequently when the tribe was in camp 
a number of boys and girls, by agreement, 
would steal away and meet at a place several 
miles distant, where they could play all day 
free from tasks. They were never punished 
for these frolics; but if their hiding places 
were discovered they were ridiculed. 



25 



CHAPTER IV 

TRIBAL AMUSEMENTS, MANNERS, AND 

CUSTOMS 

TO celebrate each noted event a feast 
and dance would be given. Perhaps 
only our own people, perhaps neighboring 
tribes would be invited. These festivities 
usually lasted for about four days. By day 
we feasted, by night under the direction of 
some chief we danced. The music for our 
dance was singing led by the warriors, and 
accompanied by beating the esadadedne 
(buckskin-on-a-hoop) . No words were sung 
— only the tones. When the feasting and 
dancing were over we would have horse 
races, foot races, wrestling, jumping, and 
all sorts of games (gambling). 

Among these games the most noted was 
the tribal game of Kah (foot) . It is played 
as follows : Four moccasins are placed about 

26 



TRIBAL CUSTOMS 

four feet apart in holes in the ground, dug 
in a row on one side of the camp, and on 
the opposite side a similar parallel row. At 
night a camp fire is started between these 
two rows of moccasins, and the players are 
arranged on sides, one or any number on 
each side. The score is kept by a bundle of 
sticks, from which each side takes a stick for 
every point won. First one side takes the 
bone (a symbol of the white rock used by the 
eagle in slaying the nameless monster — see 
Chapter I), puts up blankets between the 
four moccasins and the fire so that the op- 
posing team cannot observe their move- 
ments, and then begin to sing the legends of 
creation. The side having the bone repre- 
sents the feathered tribe, the opposite side 
represents the beasts. The players repre- 
senting the birds do all the singing, and 
while singing hide the bone in one of the 
moccasins, then the blankets are thrown 
down. They continue to sing, but as soon 
as the blankets are thrown down the chosen 

27 



GERONIMO 

player from the opposing team, armed with 
a war club, comes to their side of the camp 
fire and with his club strikes the moccasin 
in which he thinks the bone is hidden. If he 
strikes the right moccasin, his side gets the 
bone, and in turn represents the birds, while 
the opposing team must keep quiet and 
guess in turn. There are only four plays; 
three that lose and one that wins. When all 
the sticks are gone from the bundle the side 
having the largest number of sticks is 
counted winner. 

This game is seldom played except as a 
gambling game, but for that purpose it is 
the most popular game known to the tribe. 
Usually the game lasts four or five hours. 
It is never played in daytime. 

After the games are all finished the vis- 
itors say, " We are satisfied," and the camp 
is broken up. I was always glad when the 
dances and feasts were announced. So were 
all the other young people. 

Our life also had a religious side. We 

28 



TRIBAL CUSTOMS 

had no churches, no religious organizations^ 
no sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we wor- 
shiped. Sometimes the whole tribe would 
assemble to sing and pray; sometimes a 
smaller number, perhaps only two or three. 
The songs had a few words, but were not 
formal. The singer would occasionally put 
in such words as he wished instead of the 
usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in 
silence; sometimes each one prayed aloud; 
sometimes an aged person prayed for all of 
us. At other times one would rise and speak 
to us of our duties 1 to each other and to 
Usen. Our services were short. 

When disease or pestilence abounded we 
were assembled and questioned by our lead- 
ers to ascertain what evil we had done, and 
how Usen could be satisfied. Sometimes 

1 The Apaches recognized no duties to any man outside 
their tribe. It was no sin to kill enemies or to rob them. 
However, if they accepted any favor from a stranger, op 
allowed him to share their comforts in any way, he became 
(by adoption) related to the tribe and they must recognize 
their duty to him. 

29 



GERONIMO 

sacrifice was deemed necessary. Sometimes 
the offending one was punished. 

If an Apache had allowed his aged par- 
ents to suffer for food or shelter, if he had 
neglected or abused the sick, if he had pro- 
faned our religion, or had been unfaithful, 
he might be banished from the tribe. 

The Apaches had no prisons as white men 
have. Instead of sending their criminals 
into prison they sent them out of their tribe. 
These faithless, cruel, lazy, or cowardly 
members of the tribe were excluded in such 
a manner that they could not join any other 
tribe. Neither could they have any protec- 
tion from our unwritten tribal laws. Fre- 
quently these outlaw Indians banded to- 
gether and committed depredations which 
were charged against the regular tribe. 
However, the life of an outlaw Indian was 
a hard lot, and their bands never became 
very large; besides, these bands frequently 
provoked the wrath of the tribe and secured 

their own destruction. 

so 



. 




The Conquered Weapon 



TRIBAL CUSTOMS 

When I was about eight or ten years old 
I began to follow the chase, and to me this 
was never work. 

Out on the prairies, which ran up to our 
mountain homes, wandered herds of deer, 
antelope, elk, and buffalo, to be slaughtered 
when we needed them. 

Usually we hunted buffalo on horseback, 
killing them with arrows and spears. Their 
skins were used to make tepees and bedding ; 
their flesh, to eat. 

It required more skill to hunt the deer 
than any other animal. We never tried to 
approach a deer except against the wind. 
Frequently we would spend hours in steal- 
ing upon grazing deer. If they were in the 
open we would crawl long distances on the 
ground, keeping a weed or brush before us, 
so that our approach would not be noticed. 
Often we could kill several out of one herd 
before the others would run away. Their 
flesh was dried and packed in vessels, and 

would keep in this condition for many 

si 



GERONIMO 

months. The hide of the deer was soaked in 
water and ashes and the hair removed, and 
then the process of tanning continued until 
the buckskin was soft and pliable. Perhaps 
no other animal was more valuable to us than 
the deer. 

In the forests and along the streams were 
many wild turkeys. These we would drive 
to the plains, then slowly ride up toward 
them until they were almost tired out. 
When they began to drop and hide we would 
ride in upon them and by swinging from the 
side of our horses, catch them. If one 
started to fly we would ride swiftly under 
him and kill him with a short stick, or hunt- 
ing club. In this way we could usually get 
as many wild turkeys as we could carry home 
on a horse. 

There were many rabbits in our range, 
and we also hunted them on horseback. Our 
horses were trained to follow the rabbit at 
full speed, and as they approached them we 
would swing from one side of the horse and 

32 



TRIBAL CUSTOMS 

strike the rabbit with our hunting club. If 
he was too far away we would throw the 
stick and kill him. This was great sport when 
we were boys, but as warriors we seldom 
hunted small game. 

There were many fish in the streams, but 
as we did not eat them, we did not try to 
catch or kill them. Small boys sometimes 
threw stones at them or shot at them for 
practice with their bows and arrows. Usen 
did not intend snakes, frogs, or fishes to be 
eaten. I have never eaten of them. 

There were many eagles in the mountains. 
These we hunted for their feathers. It re- 
quired great skill to steal upon an eagle, for 
besides having sharp eyes, he is wise and 
never stops at any place where he does not 
have a good view of the surrounding 
country. 

I have killed many bears with a spear, but 
was never injured in a fight with one. I 
have killed several mountain lions with ar- 
rows, and one with a spear. Both bears and 

33 



GERONIMO 

mountain lions are good for food and valu- 
able for their skin. When we killed them 
we carried them home on our horses. We 
often made quivers for our arrows from the 
skin of the mountain lion. These were very 
pretty and very durable. 

During my minority we had never seen a 
missionary or a priest. We had never 
seen a white man. Thus quietly lived the 
Be-don-ko-he Apaches. 



S4 



CHAPTER V 

THE FAMILY 

MY grandfather, Maco, had heen our 
chief. I never saw him, but my 
father often told me of the great size, 
strength, and sagacity of this old warrior. 
Their principal wars had been with the Mex- 
icans. They had some wars with other tribes 
of Indians also, but were seldom at peace 
for any great length of time with the Mex- 
ican towns. 

Maco died when my father was but a 
young warrior, and Mangus-Colorado * be- 
came chief of the Bedonkohe Apaches. 

l Maco was chief of the Nedni Apaches. His son (Geron- 
imo's father) had married a Bedonkohe Apache (Geron- 
imo's mother) and joined her tribe, thereby losing his 
right to rule by heredity. By this it will be seen Geronimo 
could not become chief by hereditary right, although his 
grandfather was a chieftain. It is also shown that Geron- 
lmo's father could not be chief, hence the accession of 
Mangus-Colorado. 

35 



GERONIMO 

When I was but a small boy my father died, 
after having been sick for some time. When 
he passed away, carefully the watchers closed 
his eyes, then they arrayed him in his best 
clothes, painted his face afresh, wrapped a 
rich blanket around him, saddled his favor- 
ite horse, bore his arms in front of him, and 
led his horse behind, repeating in wailing 
tones his deeds of valor as they carried his 
body to a cave in the mountain. Then they 
slew his horses, and we gave away all of his 
other property, 2 as was customary in our 
tribe, after which his body was deposited in 
the cave, his arms beside him. His grave is 
hidden by piles of stone. Wrapped in splen- 
dor he lies in seclusion, and the winds in the 
pines sing a low requiem over the dead 
warrior. 

After my father's death I assumed the 

2 The Apaches will not keep any of the property of a 
deceased relative. Their unwritten tribal laws forbid it, 
because they think that otherwise the children or other 
relatives of one who had much property might be glad 
when their father or relatives died. 

36 



THE FAMILY 

care of my mother. She never married 
again, although according to the customs of 
our tribe she might have done so immedi- 
ately after his death. Usually, however, the 
widow who has children remains single after 
her husband's death for two or three years ; 
but the widow without children marries again 
immediately. After a warrior's death his 
widow returns to her people and may be 
given away or sold by her father or brothers. 
My mother chose to live with me, and she 
never desired to marry again. We lived 
near our old home and I supported her. 

In 1846, being seventeen years of age, I 
was admitted to the council of the warriors. 
Then I was very happy, for I could go 
wherever I wanted and do whatever I liked. 
I had not been under the control of any 
individual, but the customs of our tribe pro- 
hibited me from sharing the glories of the 
warpath until the council admitted me. 
When opportunity offered, after this, I 
could go on the warpath with my tribe. This 

37 



GERONIMO 

would be glorious. I hoped soon to serve 
my people in battle. I had long desired to 
fight with our warriors. 

Perhaps the greatest joy to me was that 
now I could marry the fair Alope, daughter 
of No-po-so. She was a slender, delicate 
girl, but we had been lovers for a long time. 
So, as soon as the council granted me these 
privileges I went to see her father concern- 
ing our marriage. Perhaps our love was of 
no interest to him; perhaps he wanted to 
keep Alope with him, for she was a dutiful 
daughter; at any rate he asked many ponies 
for her. I made no reply, but in a few days 
appeared before his wigwam with the herd 
of ponies and took with me Alope. This 
was all the marriage ceremony necessary in 
our tribe. 

Not far from my mother's tepee I had 
made for us a new home. The tepee was 
made of buffalo hides and in it were many 
bear robes, lion hides, and other trophies of 
the chase, as well as my spears, bows, and 

38 



I 




Al'U III l'lllM I ■ 

Daughter of Naiche, chief of the Chiricahua Apaches 



THE FAMILY 

arrows. Alope had made many little deco- 
rations of beads 3 and drawn work on buck- 
skin, which she placed in our tepee. She also 
drew many pictures on the walls of our 
home. She was a good wife, but she was 
never strong. We followed the traditions 
of our fathers and were happy. Three chil- 
dren came to us — children that played, loi- 
tered, and worked as I had done. 

3 Beads were obtained from the Mexicans. The Apaches 
also got money from the Mexicans, but deemed it of no 
value, and either gave it to their children to play with or 
threw it away. 



39 






PART II 



THE MEXICANS 



CHAPTER VI 

KAS-KI-YEH 

Part I — The Massacre 

IN the summer of 1858, being at peace 
with the Mexican towns as well as with 
all the neighboring Indian tribes, we went 
south into Old Mexico to trade. Our whole 
tribe (Bedonkohe Apaches) went through 
Sonora toward Casa Grande, our destina- 
tion, but just before reaching that place we 
stopped at another Mexican town called by 
the Indians " Kas-ki-yeh." Here we stayed 
for several days, camping just outside the 
city. Every day we would go into town to 
trade, leaving our camp under the protec- 
tion of a small guard so that our arms, sup- 
plies, and women and children would not be 
disturbed during our absence. 

Late one afternoon when returning from 
town we were met by a few women and chil- 
dren who told us that Mexican troops from 

43 



GERONIMO 

some other town had attacked our camp, 
killed all the warriors of the guard, captured 
all our ponies, secured our arms, destroyed 
our supplies, and killed many of our women 
and children. Quickly we separated, con- 
cealing ourselves as best we could until 
nightfall, when we assembled at our ap- 
pointed place of rendezvous — a thicket by 
the river. Silently we stole in one by one: 
sentinels were placed, and, when all were 
counted, I found that my aged mother, my 
young wife, and my three small children 
were among the slain. There were no lights 
in camp, so without being noticed I silently 
turned away and stood by the river. How 
long I stood there I do not know, but when 
I saw the warriors arranging for a council 
I took my place. 

That night I did not give my vote for or 
against any measure ; but it was decided that 
as there were only eighty warriors left, and 
as we were without arms or supplies, and 
were furthermore surrounded by the Mex- 

44 



KAS-KI-YEH 

icans far inside their own territory, we could 
not hope to fight successfully. So our chief, 
Mangus- Colorado, gave the order to start at 
once in perfect silence for our homes in Ari- 
zona, leaving the dead upon the field. 

I stood until all had passed, hardly know- 
ing what I would do — I had no weapon, nor 
did I hardly wish to fight, neither did I con- 
template recovering the bodies of my loved 
ones, for that was forbidden. I did not 
pray, nor did I resolve to do anything in par- 
ticular, for I had no purpose left. I finally 
followed the tribe silently, keeping just 
within hearing distance of the soft noise of 
the feet of the retreating Apaches. 

The next morning some of the Indians 
killed a small amount of game and we halted 
long enough for the tribe to cook and eat, 
when the march was resumed. I had killed 
no game, and did not eat. During the first 
march as well as while we were camped at 
this place I spoke to no one and no one spoke 
to me — there was nothing to say. 

45 



GERONIMO 

For two days and three nights we were 
on forced marches, stopping only for meals, 
then we made a camp near the Mexican bor- 
der, where we rested two days. Here I took 
some food and talked with the other Indians 
who had lost in the massacre, but none had 
lost as I had, for I had lost all. 

Within a few days we arrived at our own 
settlement. There were the decorations that 
Alope had made — and there were the play- 
things of our little ones. I burned 1 them 
all, even our tepee. I also burned my moth- 
er's tepee and destroyed all her property. 

I was never again contented in our quiet 
home. True, I could visit my father's grave, 
but I had vowed vengeance upon the Mex- 
ican troopers who had wronged me, and 
whenever I came near his grave or saw any- 
thing to remind me of former happy days 
my heart would ache for revenge upon 
Mexico. 

i According to custom he should not have kept the prop- 
erty of his deceased relatives, but he was not compelled to 
destroy his own tepee or the playthings of his children. 

46 



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l Part II — Revenge 

As soon as we had again collected some 
arms and supplies Mangus- Colorado, our 
chief, called a council and found that all our 
warriors were willing to take the warpath 
against Mexico. I was appointed to solicit 
the aid of other tribes in this war. 

When I went to the Chokonen (Chiri- 
cahua) Apaches, Cochise, their chief, called 
a council at early dawn. Silently the war- 
riors assembled at an open place in a moun- 
tain dell and took their seats on the ground, 
arranged in rows according to their ranks. 
Silently they sat smoking. At a signal 
from the chief I arose and presented my 
cause as follows: 

" Kinsman, you have heard what the Mex- 
icans have recently done without cause. 
You are my relatives — uncles, cousins, 
brothers. We are men the same as the Mex- 

47 



GERONIMO 

icans are — we can do to them what they have 
done to us. Let us go forward and trail 
them — I will lead you to their city — we will 
attack them in their homes. I will fight in 
the front of the battle — I only ask you to 
follow me to avenge this wrong done by 
these Mexicans — will you come? It is well 
— you will all come. 

" Remember the rule in war — men may 
return or they may be killed. If any of 
these young men are killed I want no blame 
from their kinsmen, for they themselves 
have chosen to go. If I am killed no one 
need mourn for me. My people have all 
been killed in that country, and I, too, will 
die if need be." 

I returned to my own settlement, reported 
this success to my chieftain, and immediately 
departed to the southward into the land of 
the Nedni Apaches. Their chief, Whoa, 
heard me without comment, but he im- 
mediately issued orders for a council, and 
when all were ready gave a sign that I 

48 

■-." 



KAS-KI-YEH 

might speak. I addressed them as I had 
addressed the Chokonen tribe, and they also 
promised to help us. 

It was in the summer of 1859, almost a 
year i'rom the date of the massacre of Kas- 
kiyeh, that these three tribes were assembled 
on the Mexican border to go upon the war- 
path. Their faces were painted, the war 
bands 2 fastened upon their brows, their 
long scalp-locks 3 ready for the hand and 
knife of the warrior who could overcome 
them. Their families had been hidden away 
in a mountain rendezvous near the Mexican 
border. With these families a guard was 
posted, and a number of places of rendez- 
vous designated in case the camp should be 
disturbed. 

When all were ready the chieftains gave 

2 Strips of buckskin about two inches wide fastened 
around the head. 

3 At this time the Mexican Government offered a reward 
in gold for Apache scalps — one hundred dollars for war- 
rior's scalp, fifty dollars for squaw's scalp, and twenty-five 
dollars for child's scalp. 

49 



GERONIMO 

command to go forward. None of us were 
mounted and each warrior wore moccasins 
and also a cloth wrapped about his loins. 
This cloth could be spread over him when he 
slept, and when on the march would be ample 
protection as clothing. In battle, if the 
fight was hard, we did not wish much cloth- 
ing. Each warrior carried three days' ra- 
tions, but as we often killed game while on 
the march, we seldom were without food. 

We traveled in three divisions : the Bedon- 
kohe Apaches led by Mangus-Colorado, the 
Chokonen Apaches by Cochise, and the 
Nedni Apaches by Whoa; however, there 
was no regular order inside the separate 
tribes. We usually marched about fourteen 
hours per day, making three stops for meals, 
and traveling forty to forty-five miles a 
day. 

I acted as guide into Mexico, and we fol- 
lowed the river courses and mountain ranges 
because we could better thereby keep our 
movements concealed. We entered Sonora 

50 



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KAS-KI-YEH 

and went southward past Quitaco, Nacozari, 
and many smaller settlements. 

When we were almost at Arispe we 
camped, and eight men rode out from the 
city to parley with us. These we captured, 
killed, and scalped. This was to draw the 
troops from the city, and the next day they 
came. The skirmishing lasted all day with- 
out a general engagement, but just at night 
we captured their supply train, so we had 
plenty of provisions and some more guns. 

That night we posted sentinels and did 
not move our camp, but rested quietly all 
night, for we expected heavy work the next 
day. Early the next morning the warriors 
were assembled to pray — not for help, but 
that they might have health and avoid am- 
bush or deceptions by the enemy. 

As we had anticipated, about ten o'clock 
in the morning the whole Mexican force 
came out. There were two companies of 
cavalry and two of infantry. I recognized 
the cavalry as the soldiers who had killed my 

51 



GERONIMO 

people at Kaskiyeh. This I told to the 
chieftains, and they said that I might direct 
the battle. 

I was no chief and never had been, but 
because I had been more deeply wronged 
than others, this honor was conferred upon 
me, and I resolved to prove worthy of the 
trust. I arranged the Indians in a hollow 
circle near the river, and the Mexicans drew 
their infantry up in two lines, with the cav- 
alry in reserve. We were in the timber, and 
they advanced until within about four hun- 
dred yards, when they halted and opened fire. 
Soon I led a charge against them, at the 
same time sending some braves to attack 
their rear. In all the battle I thought of my 
murdered mother, wife, and babies — of my 
father's grave and my vow of vengeance, 
and I fought with fury. Many fell by my 
hand, and constantly I led the advance. 
Many braves were killed. The battle lasted 
about two hours. 

At the last four Indians were alone in the 

52 



KAS-KI-YEH 

center of the field — myself and three other 
warriors. Our arrows were all gone, our 
spears broken off in the bodies of dead ene- 
mies. We had only our hands and knives 
with which to fight, but all who had stood 
against us were dead. Then two armed sol- 
diers came upon us from another part of 
the field. They shot down two of our men 
and we, the remaining two, fled toward our 
own warriors. My companion was struck 
down by a saber, but I reached our warriors, 
seized a spear, and turned. The one who 
pursued me missed his aim and fell by my 
spear. With his saber I met the trooper who 
had killed my companion and we grappled 
and fell. I killed him with my knife and 
quickly rose over his body, brandishing his 
saber, seeking for other troopers to kill. 
There were none. But the Apaches had 
seen. Over the bloody field, covered with 
the bodies of Mexicans, rang the fierce 
Apache war-whoop. 

Still covered with the blood of my en- 

53 



u 



GERONIMO 

emies, still holding my conquering weapon, 
still hot with the joy of battle, victory, and 
vengeance, I was surrounded by the Apache 
braves and made war chief of all the 
Apaches. Then I gave orders for scalping 
the slain. 4 

I could not call back my loved ones, I 
could not bring back the dead Apaches, but 
I could rejoice in this revenge. The 
Apaches had avenged the massacre of 
" Kas-ki-yeh." 

* From the moment the command for war is given with 
the Apaches everything assumes a religious guise. The 
manner of camping, cooking, etc., are exactly prescribed. 
Every object appertaining to war is called by its sacred 
name; as if, for instance, in English, one should say not 
horse, but war-horse or charger; not arrow, but missile of 
death. The Indian is not called by his ordinary name, but 
by a sacred name to which is subjoined "brave" or "chief* 
as the case may be. Geronimo's Indian name was Go khla 
yeh, but the Mexicans at this battle called him Geronimo, 
a name he has borne ever since both among the Indians and 
white men. 



54 



CHAPTER VII 

FIGHTING UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

ALL the other Apaches were satisfied 
L after the battle of " Kaskiyeh," but I 
still desired more revenge. For several 
months we were busy with the chase and 
other peaceful pursuits. Finally I suc- 
ceeded in persuading two others warriors, 
Ah-koch-ne and Ko-deh-ne, to go with me 
to invade the Mexican country. 

We left our 1 families with the tribe and 
went on the warpath. We were on foot and 
carried three days' rations. We entered 
Mexico on the north line of Sonora and fol- 
lowed the Sierra de Antunez Mountains to 
the south end of the range. Here we de- 
cided to attack a small village. (I do not 
know the name of this village.) At day- 
light we approached from the mountains. 

i Geronimo had married again. 
55 



GERONIMO 

Five horses were hitched outside. We ad- 
vanced cautiously, but just before we 
reached the horses the Mexicans opened fire 
from the houses. My two companions were 
killed. Mexicans swarmed on every side; 
some were mounted ; some were on foot, and 
all seemed to be armed. Three times that 
day I was surrounded, but I kept fighting, 
dodging, and hiding. Several times during 
the day while in concealment I had a chance 
to take deliberate aim at some Mexican, who, 
gun in hand, was looking for me. I do not 
think I missed my aim either time. With 
the gathering darkness I found more time 
to retreat toward Arizona. But the Mex- 
icans did not quit the chase. Several times 
the next day mounted Mexicans tried to 
head me off; many times they fired on me, 
but I had no more arrows; so I depended 
upon running and hiding, although I was 
very tired. I had not eaten since the chase 
began, nor had I dared to stop for rest. The 
second night I got clear of my pursuers, but 

56 






UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

I never slackened my pace until I reached 
our home in Arizona. I came into our camp 
without booty, without my companions, ex- 
hausted, but not discouraged. 

The wives and children of my two dead 
companions were cared for by their people. 
Some of the Apaches blamed me for the evil 
result of the expedition, but I said nothing. 
Having failed, it was only proper that I 
should remain silent. But my feelings to- 
ward the Mexicans did not change — I still 
hated them and longed for revenge. I never 
ceased to plan for their punishment, but it 
was hard to get the other warriors to listen 
to my proposed raids. 

In a few months after this last adventure 
I persuaded two other warriors to join me in 
raiding the Mexican frontier. On our for- 
mer raid we had gone through the Nedni 
Apaches' range into Sonora. This time we 
went through the country of the Cho- 
kon-en and entered the Sierra Madre 
Mountains. We traveled south, secured 

57 



GERONIMO 

more rations, and prepared to begin our 
raids. We had selected a village near the 
mountains which we intended to attack at 
daylight. While asleep that night Mexican 
scouts discovered our camp and fired on us, 
killing one warrior. In the morning we ob- 
served a company of Mexican troops com- 
ing from the south. They were mounted 
and carried supplies for a long journey. 
We followed their trail until we were sure 
that they were headed for our range in Ari- 
zona; then we hurried past them and in 
three days reached our own settlement. 
We arrived at noon, and that afternoon, 
about three o'clock, these Mexican troops 
attacked our settlement. Their first volley 
killed three small boys. Many of the war- 
riors of our tribe were away from home, but 
the few of us who were in camp were able 
to drive the troops out of the mountains be- 
fore night. We killed eight Mexicans and 
lost five — two warriors and three boys. The 
Mexicans rode due south in full retreat. 

58 



UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

Four warriors were detailed to follow them, 
and in three days these trailers returned, say- 
ing that the Mexican cavalry had left Ari- 
zona, going southward. We were quite sure 
they would not return soon. 

Soon after this (in the summer of 1860) 
I was again able to take the warpath against 
the Mexicans, this time with twenty-five 
warriors. We followed the trail of the 
Mexican troops last mentioned and entered 
the Sierra de Sahuaripa Mountains. The 
second day in these mountains our scouts 
discovered mounted Mexican troops. There 
was only one company of cavalry in this 
command, and I thought that by properly 
surprising them we could defeat them. We 
ambushed the trail over which they were to 
come. This was at a place where the whole 
company must pass through a mountain de- 
file. We reserved fire until all of the troops 
had passed through; then the signal was 
given. The Mexican troopers, seemingly 
without a word of command, dismounted, 

59 



GERONIMO 

and placing their horses on the outside of 
the company, for breastworks, made a good 
fight against us. I saw that we could not 
dislodge them without using all our ammuni- 
tion, so I led a charge. The warriors sud- 
denly pressed in from all sides and we 
fought hand to hand. During this encoun- 
ter I raised my spear to kill a Mexican sol- 
dier just as he leveled his gun at me; I was 
advancing rapidly, and my foot slipping in 
a pool of blood, I fell under the Mexican 
trooper. He struck me over the head with 
the butt of his gun, knocking me senseless. 
Just at that instant a warrior who followed 
in my footsteps killed the Mexican with a 
spear. In a few minutes not a Mexican 
soldier was left alive. When the Apache 
war-cry had died away, and their enemies 
had been scalped, they began to care for 
their dead and wounded. I was found lying 
unconscious where I had fallen. They 
bathed my head in cold water and restored 

me to consciousness. Then they bound up 

60 



UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

my wound and the next morning, although 
weak from loss of blood and suffering from 
a severe headache, I was able to march on 
the return to Arizona. I did not fully re- 
cover for months, and I still wear the scar 
given me by that musketeer. In this fight 
we had lost so heavily that there really was 
no glory in our victory, and we returned to 
Arizona. No one seemed to want to go on 
the warpath again that year. 

In the summer (1861) with twelve war- 
riors I again went into Mexico. We entered 
Chihuahua and followed south on the east 
side of the Sierra Madre Mountains four 
days' journey ; then crossed over to the Sierra 
de Sahuaripa range, not far east of Casa 
Grande. Here we rested one day, and sent 
out scouts to reconnoiter. They reported 
pack trains camped five miles west of us. 
The next morning just at daybreak, as these 
drivers were starting with their mule pack 
train, we attacked them. They rode away 
for their lives, leaving us the booty. The 

61 



GERONIMO 

mules were loaded with provisions, most of 
which we took home. Two mules were 
loaded with side-meat or bacon; 2 this we 
threw away. We started to take these pack 
trains home, going northward through So- 
nora, but when near Casita, Mexican troops 
overtook us. It was at daybreak and we 
were just finishing our breakfast. We had 
no idea that we had been pursued or that our 
enemies were near until they opened fire. 
At the first volley a bullet struck me a glanc- 
ing lick just at the lower corner of the left 
eye and I fell unconscious. All the other 
Indians fled to cover. The Mexicans, think- 
ing me dead, started in pursuit of the fleeing 
Indians. In a few moments I regained con- 
sciousness and had started at full speed for 
the woods when another company coming 
up opened fire on me. Then the soldiers 
who had been chasing the other Indians 

2 They had never eaten bacon and did not learn to do so 
for a long time. Even now they will not eat bacon or 
pork if they can get other meat. Geronimo positively re- 
fuses to eat bacon or pork. 

62 



I UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

turned, and I stood between two hostile com- 
panies, but I did not stand long. Bullets 
whistled in every direction and at close range 
to me. One inflicted a slight flesh wound 
on my side, but I kept running, dodging, 
and fighting, until I got clear of my pur- 
suers. I climbed up a steep canon, where the 
cavalry could not follow. The troopers saw 
me, but did not dismount and try to follow. 
I think they were wise not to come on. 

It had been understood that in case of sur- 
prise with this booty, our place of rendez- 
vous should be the Santa Bita Mountains in 
Arizona. We did not reassemble in Mexico, 
but traveled separately and in three days we 
were encamped in our place of rendezvous. 
From this place we returned home empty- 
handed. We had not even a partial victory 
to report. I again returned wounded, but 
I was not yet discouraged. Again I was 
blamed by our people, and again I had no 
reply. 

After our return many of the warriors 

63 



GERONIMO 

had gone on a hunt and some of them had 
gone north to trade for blankets from the 
Navajo Indians. I remained at home try- 
ing to get my wounds healed. One morning 
just at daybreak, when the squaws were 
lighting the camp fires to prepare breakfast, 
three companies of Mexican troops who had 
surrounded our settlement in the night 
opened fire. There was no time for fighting. 
Men, women, and children fled for their 
lives. Many women and children and a few 
warriors were killed, and four women were 
captured. My left eye was still swollen 
shut, but with the other I saw well enough 
to hit one of the officers with an arrow, and 
then make good my escape among the rocks. 
The troopers burned our tepees and took 
our arms, provisions, ponies, and blankets. 
Winter was at hand. 

There were not more than twenty warriors 
in camp at this time, and only a few of us 
had secured weapons during the excitement 
of the attack. A few warriors followed the 

64 






UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

trail of the troops as they went back to Mex- 
ico with their booty, but were unable to offer 
battle. It was a long, long time before we 
were again able to go on the warpath against 
the Mexicans. 

The four women who were captured at 
this time by the Mexicans were taken into 
Sonora, Mexico, where they were compelled 
to work for the Mexicans. After some 
years they escaped to the mountains and 
started to find our tribe. They had knives 
which they had stolen from the Mexicans, 
but they had no other weapons. They had 
no blankets ; so at night they would make a 
little tepee by cutting brush with their 
knives, and setting them up for the walls. 
The top was covered over with brush. In 
this temporary tepee they would all sleep. 
One night when their camp fire was low they 
heard growling just outside the tepee. 
Francisco, the youngest woman of the 
party (about seventeen years of age), 
started to build up the fire, when a moun- 

65 



GERONIMO 

tain lion crashed through the tepee and at- 
tacked her. The suddenness of the attack 
made her drop her knife, but she fought as 
best she could with her hand. She was no 
match for the lion, however; her left shoul- 
der was crushed and partly torn away. The 
lion kept trying to catch her by the throat; 
this she prevented with her hands for a long 
time. He dragged her for about 300 yards, 
then she found her strength was failing her 
from loss of blood, and she called to the 
other women for help. The lion had been 
dragging her by one foot, and she had been 
catching hold of his legs, and of the rocks 
and underbrush, to delay him. Finally he 
stopped and stood over her. She again 
called her companions and they attacked 
him with their knives and killed him. Then 
they dressed her wounds and nursed her in 
the mountains for about a month. When 
she was again able to walk they resumed 
their journey and reached our tribe in 
safety. 

6G 



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Asa Deklugie, Wife and Children 



UNDER DIFFICULTIES 

This woman (Francisco) was held as a 
prisoner of war with the other Apaches and 
died on the Fort Sill Reservation in 1892. 
Her face was always disfigured with those 
scars and she never regained perfect use of 
her hands. The three older women died be- 
fore we became prisoners of war. 

Many women and children were carried 
away at different times by Mexicans. Not 
many of them ever returned, and those who 
did underwent many hardships in order to 
be again united with their people. Those 
who did not escape were slaves to the Mex- 
icans, or perhaps even more degraded. 

When warriors were captured by the 
Mexicans they were kept in chains. Four 
warriors who were captured once at a place 
north of Casa Grande, called by the Indians 
"Honas," were kept in chains for a year 
and a half, when they were exchanged for 
Mexicans whom we had captured. 

We never chained prisoners or kept them 
in confinement, but they seldom got away. 

67 



GERONIMO 

Mexican men when captured were compelled 
to cut wood and herd horses. Mexican 
women and children 3 were treated as our 
own people. 

s The interpreter, Asa, son of Whoa, remembers a little 
captive Mexican girl who used to play with the Apache 
children, but was finally exchanged. 

One of Geronimo's wives and her child were killed at this 
time, and thenceforth until he became a prisoner of war he 
had two wives. He might have had as many wives as he 
wished, but he says that he was so busy fighting Mexicans 
that he could not support more than two. 



68 



VIII 

KAIDS THAT WERE SUCCESSFUL 

IN the summer of 1862 I took eight 
men and invaded Mexican territory. 
We went south on the west side of the Sierra 
Madre Mountains for five days ; then in the 
night crossed over to the southern part of 
the Sierra de Sahuaripa range. Here we 
again camped to watch for pack trains. 
About ten o'clock next morning four driv- 
ers, mounted, came past our camp with a 
pack-mule train. As soon as they saw us 
they rode for their lives, leaving us the booty. 
This was a long train, and packed with 
blankets, calico, saddles, tinware, and loaf 
sugar. We hurried home as fast as we 
could with these provisions, and on our re- 
turn while passing through a canon in the 
Santa Catilina range of mountains in Ari- 
zona, met a white man driving a mule pack 

69 



f 



GERONIMO 

train. When we first saw him he had al- 
ready seen us, and was riding at full tilt up 
the canon. We examined his train and 
found that his mules were all loaded with 
cheese. We put them in with the other train 
and resumed our journey. We did not at- 
tempt to trail the driver and I am sure he 
did not try to follow us. 

In two days we arrived at home. Then 
Mangus-Colorado, our chief, assembled the 
tribe. We gave a feast, divided the spoils, 
and danced all night. Some of the pack 
mules were killed and eaten. 

This time after our return we kept out 
scouts so that we would know if Mexican 
troops should attempt to follow us. 

On the third day our scouts came into camp 
and reported Mexican cavalry dismounted 
and approaching our settlement. All our 
warriors were in camp. Mangus-Colorado 
took command of one division and I of the 
other. We hoped to get possession of their 
horses, then surround the troops in the 

70 






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SUCCESSFUL RAIDS 

mountains, and destroy the whole company. 
This we were unable to do, for they, too, had 
scouts. However, within four hours after 
we started we had killed ten troopers with 
the loss of only one man, and the Mexican 
cavalry was in full retreat, followed by 
thirty armed Apaches, who gave them no 
rest until they were far inside the Mexi- 
can country. No more troops came that 
winter. 

For a long time we had plenty of provi- 
sions, plenty of blankets, and plenty of 
clothing. We also had plenty of cheese and 
sugar. 

Another summer (1863) I selected three 
warriors and went on a raid into Mexico. 
We went south into Sonora, camping in the 
Sierra de Sahuaripa Mountains. About 
forty miles west of Casa Grande is a small 
village in the mountains, called by the In- 
dians " Crassanas." We camped near this 
place and concluded to make an attack. We 
had noticed that just at midday no one 

71 



GERONIMO 

seemed to be stirring; so we planned to make 
our attack at the noon hour. The next day 
we stole into the town at noon. We had no 
guns, but were armed with spears and bows 
and arrows. When the war-whoop was 
given to open the attack the Mexicans fled 
in every direction; not one of them made 
any attempt to fight us. 

We shot some arrows at the retreating 
Mexicans, but killed only one. Soon all was 
silent in the town and no Mexicans could be 
seen. 

When we discovered that all the Mexicans 
were gone we looked through their houses 
and saw many curious things. These Mex- 
icans kept many more kinds of property 
than the Apaches did. Many of the things 
we saw in the houses we could not under- 
stand, but in the stores we saw much that we 
wanted ; so we drove in a herd of horses and 
mules, and packed as much provisions and 
supplies as we could on them. Then we 
formed these animals into a pack train and 

72 



f SUCCESSFUL RAIDS 

returned safely to Arizona. The Mexicans 
did not even trail us. 

When we arrived in camp we called the 
tribe together and feasted all day. We gave 
presents to everyone. That night the dance 
began, and it did not cease until noon the 
next day. 

This was perhaps the most successful raid 
ever made by us into Mexican territory. I 
do not know the value of the booty, but it 
was very great, for we had supplies enough 
to last our whole tribe for a year or more. 

In the fall of 1864 twenty warriors were V 

willing to go with me on another raid into 

Mexico. These were all chosen men, well 

-armed and equipped for battle. As usual 

we provided for the safety of our families 

before starting on this raid. Our whole tribe 

scattered and then reassembled at a camp 

about forty miles from the former place. In 

this way it would be hard for the Mexicans to 

trail them and we would know where to find 

our families when we returned. Moreover, 

73 



GERONIMO 

if any hostile Indians should see this large 
number of warriors leaving our range they 
might attack our camp, but if they found 
no one at the usual place their raid would 
fail. 

We went south through the Chokonen 
Apaches' range, entered Sonora, Mexico, at 
a point directly south of Tombstone, Ari- 
zona, and went into hiding in the Sierra de 
Antunez Mountains. 

We attacked several settlements in the 
neighborhood and secured plenty of provi- 
sions and supplies. After about three days 
we attacked and captured a mule pack train 
at a place called by the Indians " Pontoco." 
It is situated in the mountains due west, 
about one day's journey ' from Arispe. 

There were three drivers with this train. 
One was killed and two escaped. The train 
was loaded with mescal, 2 which was con- 

i Forty-five miles. 

2 Mescal is a fiery liquor produced in Mexico from several 
spices of Agave. 

74 






SUCCESSFUL RAIDS 

tained in bottles held in wicker baskets. As 
soon as we made camp the Indians began to 
get drunk and fight each other. I, too, 
drank enough mescal to feel the effect of it, 
but I was not drunk. I ordered the fight- 
ing stopped, but the order was disobeyed. 
Soon almost a general fight was in progress. 
I tried to place a guard out around our 
camp, but all were drunk and refused to 
serve. I expected an attack from Mexican 
troops at any moment, and really it was a 
serious matter for me, for being in command 
I would be held responsible for any ill luck 
attending the expedition. Finally the 
camp became comparatively still, for the In- 
dians were too drunk to walk or even to 
fight. While they were in this stupor I 
poured out all the mescal, then I put out all 
the fires and moved the pack mules to a con- 
siderable distance from camp. After this 
I returned to camp to try to do something 
for the wounded. I found that only two 
M r ere dangerously wounded. From the leg 

75 



GERONIMO 

of one of these I cut an arrow head, and 
from the shoulder of another I withdrew a 
spear point. When all the wounds had been 
cared for, I myself kept guard till morning. 
The next day we loaded our wounded on the 
pack mules and started for Arizona. 

The next day we captured come cattle 
from a herd and drove them home with us. 
But it was a very difficult matter to drive 
cattle when we were on foot. Caring for 
the wounded and keeping the cattle from 
escaping made our journey tedious. But 
we were not trailed, and arrived safely at 
home with all the booty. 

We then gave a feast and dance, and di- 
vided the spoils. After the dance we killed 
all the cattle and dried the meat. We 
dressed the hides and then the dried meat 
was packed in between these hides and 
stored away. All that winter we had plenty 
of meat. These were the first cattle we ever 
had. As usual we killed and ate some of 

the mules. We had little use for mules, and 

76 



SUCCESSFUL RAIDS 

if we could not trade them for something of 
value, we killed them. 

In the summer of 1865, with four war- 
riors, I went again into Mexico. Hereto- 
fore we had gone on foot; we were accus- 
tomed to fight on foot; besides, we could 
more easily conceal ourselves when dis- 
mounted. But this time we wanted more 
cattle, and it was hard to drive them when 
we were on foot. We entered Sonora at a 
point southwest from Tombstone, Arizona, 
and followed the Sierra de Antunez Moun- 
tains to the southern limit, then crossed the 
country as far south as the mouth of Yaqui 
River. Here we saw a great lake 3 extend- 
ing beyond the limit of sight. Then we 
turned north, attacked several settlements, 
and secured plenty of supplies. When we 
had come back northwest of Arispe we se- 
cured about sixty head of cattle, and drove 
them to our homes in Arizona. We did not 
go directly home, but camped in different 

s Gulf of California. 

77 




GERONIMO 

valleys with our cattle. We were not trailed. 
When we arrived at our camp the tribe was 
again assembled for feasting and dancing. 
Presents were given to everybody; then the 
cattle were killed and the meat dried and 
packed. 



78 



CHAPTER IX 

VARYING FORTUNES 

IN the fall of 1865 with nine other war- 
riors I went into Mexico on foot. We 
attacked several settlements south of Casa 
Grande, and collected many horses and 
mules. We made our way northward with 
these animals through the mountains. When 
near Arispe we made camp one evening, 
and thinking that we were not heing trailed, 
turned loose the whole herd, even those we 
had been riding. They were in a valley sur- 
rounded by steep mountains, and we were 
camped at the mouth of this valley so that 
the animals could not leave without coming 
through our camp. Just as we had begun 
to eat our supper our scouts came in and an- 
nounced Mexican troops coming toward our 
camp. We started for the horses, but troops 
that our scouts had not seen were on the 

79 



GERONIMO 

cliffs above us, and opened fire. We scat- 
tered in all directions, and the troops re- 
covered all our booty. In three days we 
reassembled at our appointed place of ren- 
dezvous in the Sierra Madre Mountains in 
northern Sonora. Mexican troops did not 
follow us, and we returned to Arizona with- 
out any more fighting and with no booty. 
Again I had nothing to say, but I was anx- 
ious for another raid. 

Early the next summer (1866) I took 
thirty mounted warriors and invaded Mex- 
ican territory. We went south through 
Chihuahua as far as Santa Cruz, Sonora, 
then crossed over the Sierra Madre Moun- 
tains, following the river course at the south 
end of the range. We kept on westward 
from the Sierra Madre Mountains to the 
Sierra de Sahuripa Mountains, and fol- 
lowed that range northward. We collected 
all the horses, mules, and cattle we wanted, 
and drove them northward through Sonora 
into Arizona. Mexicans saw us at many 

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VARYING FORTUNES 

times and in many places, but they did not 
attack us at any time, nor did any troops 
attempt to follow us. When we arrived at 
our homes we gave presents to all, and the 
tribe feasted and danced. During this raid 
we had killed about fifty Mexicans. 

Next year (1867) Mangus-Colorado led 
eight warriors on a raid into Mexico. I 
went as a warrior, for I was always glad 
to fight the Mexicans. We rode south from 
near Tombstone, Arizona, into Sonora, 
Mexico. We attacked some cowboys, and 
after a fight with them, in which two of 
their number were killed, we drove all their 
cattle northward. The second day we were 
driving the cattle, but had no scouts out. 
When we were not far from Arispe, Mexican 
troops rode upon us. They were well armed 
and well mounted, and when we first saw 
them they were not half a mile away from 
us. We left the cattle and rode as hard as 
we could toward the mountains, but they 
gained on us rapidly. Soon they opened 

81 



GERONIMO 

fire, but were so far away from us that we 
were unable to reach them with our arrows ; 
finally we reached some timber, and, leaving 
our ponies, fought from cover. Then the 
Mexicans halted, collected our ponies, and 
rode away across the plains toward Arispe, 
driving the cattle with them. We stood and 
watched them until they disappeared in the 
distance, and then took up our march for 
home. 

We arrived home in five days with no vic- 
tory to report, no spoils to divide, and not 
even the ponies which we had ridden into 
Mexico. This expedition was considered 
disgraceful. 

The warriors who had been with Mangus- 
Colorado on this last expedition wanted to 
return to Mexico. They were not satisfied, 
besides they felt keenly the taunts of the 
other warriors. Mangus-Colorado would 
not lead them back, so I took command and 
we went on foot, directly toward Arispe in 
Sonora, and made our camp in the Sierra de 

82 






VARYING FORTUNES 

Sahuripa Mountains. There were only six 
of us, but we raided several settlements (at 
night), captured many horses and mules, 
and loaded them with provisions, saddles 
and blankets. Then we returned to Arizona, 
traveling only at night. When we arrived 
at our camp we sent out scouts to prevent 
any surprise by Mexicans, assembled the 
tribe, feasted, danced, and divided the spoils. 
Mangus-Colorado would not receive any of 
this booty, but we did not care. No Mex- 
ican troops followed us to Arizona. 

About a year after this (1868) Mexican 
troops rounded up all the horses and mules 
of the tribe not far from our settlement. 
No raids had been made into Mexico that 
year, and we were not expecting any at- 
tacks. We were all in camp, having just 
returned from hunting. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon two 
Mexican scouts were seen near our settle- 
ment. We killed these scouts, but the troops 
got under way with the herd of our horses 

83 



GERONIMO 

and mules before we saw them. It was use- 
less to try to overtake them on foot, and 
our tribe had not a horse left. I took twenty 
warriors and trailed them. We found the 
stock at a cattle ranch in Sonora, not far 
from Nacozari, and attacked the cowboys 
who had them in charge. We killed two 
men and lost none. After the fight we 
drove off our own stock and all of theirs. 

We were trailed by nine cowboys. I 
sent the stock on ahead and with three war- 
riors stayed in the rear to intercept any at- 
tacking parties. One night when near the 
Arizona line we discovered these cowboys 
on our trail and watched them camp for the 
night and picket their horses. About mid- 
night we stole into their camp and silently 
led away all their horses, leaving the cow- 
boys asleep. Then we rode hard and over- 
took our companions, who always traveled 
at night instead of in the daytime. We 
turned these horses in with the herd and fell 
back to again intercept anyone who might 

84 



VARYING FORTUNES 

trail us. What these nine cowboys did next 
morning I do not know, and I have never 
heard the Mexicans say anything about it; 
I know they did not follow us, for we were 
not molested. When we arrived in camp at 
home there was great rejoicing in the tribe. 
It was considered a good trick to get the 
Mexicans' horses and leave them asleep in 
the mountains. 

It was a long time before we again went 
into Mexico or were disturbed by the Mex- 
icans. 



8/5 



CHAPTER X 

OTHER RAIDS 

WHEN reading the foregoing chap- 
ters of Apache raids one not ac- 
quainted with the lawlessness of the frontier 
might wonder how this tendency of the 
Apaches was developed to such a marked 
degree; but one acquainted with the real 
conditions — the disregard for law by both 
Mexicans and white men along the border 
line of Old Mexico and Arizona in early 
days — can readily understand where the 
Apache got his education in the art of con- 
ducting lawless raids. In order, therefore, 
that those who are unacquainted with the 
conditions as they were in southern Arizona 
during the eighties, may understand the en- 
vironment of the Apaches, this chapter is 
given. The events herein narrated are taken 

86 



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, • 




OTHER RAIDS 

by the author from many accounts given 
him by reliable men who lived in this section 
of country during the period mentioned. 

Raid by White Men 

In 1882 a company of six Mexican tra- 
ders, who were known as " smugglers " be- 
cause they evaded duties on goods which 
they brought into United States and sold 
in Arizona, were camped in Skeleton Canon, 
ten miles north of the north line of Old 
Mexico. They were known to carry large 
sums of money, but as they were always 
armed and ready to defend their possessions 
they were not often molested. However, on 
this occasion, just as they were rising in the 
morning to prepare their breakfast, five 
white men opened fire on them from ambush 
and all save one of the Mexicans were killed. 
This one, though wounded, finally made his 
escape. A few days after the killing some 
cowboys on a round-up camped at this 
place and buried the remains (what the 

87 



GERONIMO 

coyotes had left) of these five Mexicans. 
Two years later, at the same place, a cow- 
boy found a leather bag containing seventy- 
two Mexican dollars, which small amount 
of money had been overlooked by the 
robbers. 

The men who did this killing lived in 
Arizona for many years afterwards, and 
although it was known that they had com- 
mitted the depredation, no arrests followed, 
and no attempt was made by any of the 
Mexicans to recover the property of their 
fellow citizens. 

Meancan Raid 

In 1884 a cattleman and four cowboys 
from his ranch started to drive some fat 
cattle to market at Tombstone, Arizona. 
The route they took led partly through Old 
Mexico and partly through Arizona. One 
night they camped in a canon just south of 
the Mexican border. Next morning at day- 
light, the cowboy who had been on herd 

88 



OTHER RAIDS 

duty the last half of the night had just come 
in and aroused the camp when the Mexicans 
opened fire on them from ambush. The cat- 
tleman and one of the cowboys were severely 
wounded at the first volley and took shelter 
behind the camp wagon, from which posi- 
tion they fired as long as their ammunition 
lasted. The other three were only slightly 
wounded and reached cover, but only one 
escaped with his life. He remained in hid- 
ing for two days before his comrades found 
him. He saw the Mexicans rob the bodies 
of the dead and lead away their saddle 
horses, after having cooked breakfast for 
themselves in the deserted camp. He was 
severely wounded and all his ammunition 
was gone, hence he could only wait. 

On the second day after this raid some of 
the cattle strayed back to the old ranch, 
thereby giving notice to the cowboys that 
there had been foul play. They found their 
wounded companions lying delirious near 
the decaying bodies of their comrades. No 

89 



GERONIMO 

arrests were ever made in Mexico for these 
murders, and no attempt was made to re- 
cover damage or prosecute the robbers. The 
two instances above narrated will serve to 
show the reader what kind of an example 
was set for the Apaches by at least a portion 
of the inhabitants of the two Christian na- 
tions with whom they came in contact. 

Apache Raids 

It is thought well to give in this chapter 
some of the depredations of the Apaches, 
not told by Geronimo. They are given as 
told by our own citizens and from the white 
man's point of view. 

In 1884 Judge McCormick and wife, ac- 
companied by their young son, were driving 
from Silver City to Lordsburg, when they 
were ambushed by Apaches. The bodies of 
the adults were found soon afterward, but 
the child's body was never recovered. Years 
afterwards, an Apache squaw told some of 
the settlers in Arizona that the little boy 

90 



OTHER RAIDS 

(about eight years old) cried so much and 
was so stubborn that they had to kill him, 
although their original intention was to 
spare his life. 

In 1882 a man named Hunt was wounded 
in a row in a saloon in Tombstone, Arizona. 
During this row two other men had been 
killed, and, to avoid arrest, Hunt and his 
brother went into the mountains and camped 
about ten miles north of Willow Springs to 
await the healing of his wounds. A few 
days after they came there, Apache Indians 
attacked them and killed the wounded 
brother, but the other, by hard riding, made 
good his escape. 

In 1883 two Eastern boys went into Ari- 
zona to prospect. Their real outing began 
at Willow Springs, where they had stayed 
two days with the cowboys. These cowboys 
had warned them against the Apaches, but 
the young men seemed entirely fearless, and 
pushed on into the mountains. On the 
second morning after they left the settle- 

91 



GERONIMO 

ment, one of the boys was getting breakfast 
while the other went to bring in the pack 
horses that had been hobbled and turned 
loose the night before to graze. Just about 
the time he found his horses, two Apache 
warriors rode out from cover toward him 
and he made a hasty retreat to camp, jump- 
ing off of a bluff and in so doing breaking 
his leg. 

A consultation was then held between 
the two Easterners and it was decided that 
perhaps all the stories they had been told 
of the Apache raids were true, and that 
it was advisable to surrender. Accordingly 
a white handkerchief was tied to the end of 
a pole and raised cautiously above the top of 
the bluff. In about ten minutes the two 
Indians — one a very old warrior and the 
other a mere boy, evidently his son — rode 
into camp and dismounted. The old war- 
rior examined the broken limb, then without 
a word proceeded to take off the shirt of 
the uninjured youth, with strips of which he 

92 



OTHER RAIDS 

carefully bound up the broken leg. After 
this the two Indians ate the prepared break- 
fast and remounted their ponies. Then the 
old warrior, indicating the direction with his 
thumb, said " Doctor — Lordsburg — three 
days," and silently rode away. The young 
men rode twenty-five miles to Sansimone, 
where the cowboys fitted them out with a 
wagon to continue their journey to Lords- 
burg, seventy-five miles further, where a 
physician's services could be secured. 

In 1883 two prospectors, Alberts and 
Reese by name, were driving a team, con- 
sisting of a horse and a mule, through Tur- 
key Creek bottoms, when they were shot by 
the Indians. The wagon and harness were 
left in the road, and the mule was found 
dead in the road two hundred yards from 
that place. Evidently the Indians had not 
much use for him. The guns of the pros- 
pectors were found later, but the horse they 
drove was not recovered. 

In none of the above-named instances 

93 



GERONIMO 

were the bodies of the victims mutilated. 
However, there are many recorded instances 
in which the Apache Indians did mutilate 
the bodies of their victims, but it is claimed 
by Geronimo that these were outlawed In- 
dians, as his regular warriors were in- 
structed to scalp none except those killed in 
battle, and to torture none except to make 
them reveal desired information. 

In 1884 two cowboys in the employment 
of the Sansimone Cattle Company were 
camped at Willow Springs, eighteen miles 
southwest of Skeleton Canon, and not far 
from Old Mexico. Just at sundown their 
camp was surrounded by Apaches in war 
paint, who said that they had been at war 
with the Mexicans and wished to return to 
the United States. There were about 
seventy-five Indians in the whole tribe, the 
squaws and children coming up later. They 
had with them about one hundred and fifty 
Mexican horses. The Indians took posses- 
sion of the camp and remained for about ten 

94 



OTHER RAIDS 

days, getting their supplies of meat by kill- 
ing cattle of the company. 

With this band of Indians was a white 
boy about fourteen years old, who had evi- 
dently been with them from infancy, for he 
could not speak a word of English, and did 
not understand much Spanish, but spoke the 
Apache language readily. 

They would allow but one of the cow- 
boys to leave camp at a time, keeping the 
other under guard. They had sentinels with 
sypglasses on all the hills and peaks sur- 
rounding the camp. 

One evening when one of the cowboys, 
William Berne, had been allowed to pass out 
of the camp, he noticed an Indian dis- 
mounted and, as he approached, discovered 
that the Indian had him under range of his 
rifle. He immediately dismounted, and 
standing on the opposite side from the red- 
skin, threw his own Winchester across his 
horse's neck, when the Indian sprang on his 
horse and galloped toward him at full 

95 



GERONIMO 

speed, making signs to him not to shoot, and 
when he approached him, dismounted and 
pointing to the ground, showed Berne many 
fresh deer tracks. Then, as an understand- 
ing had been established, the cowboy re- 
mounted and went on his way, leaving the 
Apache to hunt the deer. 

One day when this cowboy was about ten 
miles from camp, he found two splendid 
horses of the Indians. These horses had 
strayed from the herd. Thinking that they 
would in a way compensate for the cattle 
the Apaches were eating, he drove them on 
for about five miles into a canon where there 
was plenty of grass and water and left them 
there, intending to come back after the de- 
parture of the Indians and take possession 
of them. 

On the tenth day after the arrival of this 
band of Indians, United States troops, ac- 
companied by two Indians who had been 
sent to make the arrangements, arrived in 
camp, paid for the cattle the Apaches had 

96 



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OTHER RAIDS 

eaten, took the Indians and their stock, and 
moved on toward Fort Bowie. The cowboys 
immediately started for the canon where the 
two horses had been left, but had not gone 
far when they met two Indians driving these 
horses in front of them as they pushed on 
to overtake the tribe. 

Evidently the shrewdness of the paleface 
had not outwitted the red man that time. 

Geronimo says he was in no wise con- 
nected with the events herein mentioned, but 
refuses to state whether he knows anything 
about them. He holds it unmanly to tell of 
any depredations of red men except those 
for which he was responsible. 

Such were the events transpiring in 
" Apache land " during the days when Ge- 
ronimo was leading his warriors to avenge 
the " wrongs " of his people. This chapter 
will serve to show that the Apache had 
plenty of examples of lawlessness furnished 
him, and also that he was a very apt scholar 
in this school of savage lawlessness. 

97 



CHAPTER XI 

HEAVY FIGHTING 

ABOUT 1873 we were again attacked 
^ by Mexican troops in our settlement, 
but we defeated them. Then we decided to 
make raids into Mexico. We moved our 
whole camp, packing all our belongings on 
mules and horses, went into Mexico and 
made camp in the mountains near Nacori. 
In moving our camp in this way we wanted 
no one to spy on us, and if we passed a 
Mexican's home we usually killed the in- 
mates. However, if they offered to sur- 
render and made no resistance or trouble in 
any way, we would take them prisoners. 
Frequently we would change our place of 
rendezvous ; then we would take with us our 
prisoners if they were willing to go, but if 
they were unruly they might be killed. I 

remember one Mexican in the Sierra Madre 

98 



HEAVY FIGHTING 

Mountains who saw us moving and delayed 
us for some time. We took the trouble to 
get him, thinking the plunder of his house 
would pay us for the delay, but after we 
had killed him we found nothing in his 
house worth having. We ranged in these 
mountains for over a year, raiding the Mex- 
ican settlements for our supplies, but not 
having any general engagement with Mex- 
ican troops; then we returned to our homes 
in Arizona. After remaining in Arizona 
about a year we returned to Mexico, and 
went into hiding in the Sierra Madre Moun- 
tains. Our camp was near Nacori, and we 
had just organized bands of warriors for 
raiding the country, when our scouts dis- 
covered Mexican troops coming toward our 
camp to attack us. 

Battle of White Hill 
The chief of the Nedni Apaches, Whoa, 
was with me and commanded one division. 
The warriors were all marched toward the 

99 



GERONIMO 

troops and met them at a place about five 
miles from our camp. We showed our- 
selves to the soldiers and they quickly rode 
to the top of a hill and dismounted, placing 
their horses on the outside for breastworks. 
It was a round hill, very steep and rocky, 
and there was no timber on its sides. There 
were two companies of Mexican cavalry, and 
we had about sixty warriors. We crept up 
the hill behind the rocks, and they kept up a 
constant fire, but I had cautioned our war- 
riors not to expose themselves to the Mex- 
icans. 

I knew that the troopers would waste 
their ammunition. Soon we had killed all 
their horses, but the soldiers would lie be- 
hind these and shoot at us. While we had 
killed several Mexicans, we had not yet lost 
a man. However, it was impossible to get 
very close to them in this way, and I deemed 
it best to lead a charge against them. 

We had been fighting ever since about 

one o'clock, and about the middle of the 

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HEAVY FIGHTING 






afternoon, seeing that we were making no 
further progress, I gave the sign for the 
advance. The war-whoop sounded and we 
leaped forward from every stone over the 
Mexicans' dead horses, fighting hand to 
hand. The attack was so sudden that the 
Mexicans, running first this way and then 
that, became so confused that in a few min- 
utes we had killed them all. Then we 
scalped the slain, carried away our dead, and 
secured all the arms we needed. That night 
we moved our camp eastward through the 
Sierra Madre Mountains into Chihuahua. 
No troops molested us here and after about 
a year we returned to Arizona. 

Almost every year we would live a part^ 
of the time in Old Mexico. There were at 
this time many settlements in Arizona; 
game was not plentiful, and besides we liked | 
to go down into Old Mexico. Besides, the J 
lands of the Nedni Apaches, our friends and 
kinsmen, extended far into Mexico. Their 
Chief, Whoa, was as a brother to me, and 

101 



GERONIMO 

we spent much of our time in his terri- 
tory. 

About 1880 we were in camp in the moun- 
tains south of Casa Grande, when a com- 
pany of Mexican troops attacked us. There 
were twenty-four Mexican soldiers and 
about forty Indians. The Mexicans sur- 
prised us in camp and fired on us, killing 
two Indians the first volley. I do not know 
how they were able to find our camp unless 
they had excellent scouts and our guards 
were careless, but there they were shooting 
at us before we knew they were near. We 
were in the timber, and I gave the order to 
go forward and fight at close range. We 
kept behind rocks and trees until we came 
within ten yards of their line, then we stood 
up and both sides shot until all the Mexicans 
were killed. We lost twelve warriors in this 
battle. 

This place was called by the Indians 

" Sko-la-ta." When we had buried our dead 

and secured what supplies the Mexicans had, 

102 



HEAVY FIGHTING 

we went northeast. At a place near Nacori 
Mexican troops attacked us. At this place, 
called by the Indians " Nokode," there were 
about eighty warriors, Bedonkohe and 
Nedni Apaches. There were three com- 
panies of Mexican troops. They attacked 
us in an open field, and \ve scattered, firing 
as we ran. They followed us, but we dis- 
persed, and soon were free from their pur- 
suit; then we reassembled in the Sierra 
Madre Mountains. Here a council was 
held, and as Mexican troops were coming 
from many quarters, we disbanded. 

In about four months we reassembled at ^t 
Casa Grande to make a treaty of peace. 
The chiefs of the town of Casa Grande, 
and all of the men of Casa Grande, made a 
treaty with us. We shook hands and prom- 
ised to be brothers. Then we began to trade, 
and the Mexicans gave us mescal. Soon 
nearly all the Indians were drunk. While 
they were drunk two companies of Mexican 
troops, from, another town, attacked us, 

103 



GERONIMO 

killed twenty Indians, and captured many 
more. 1 We fled in all directions. 

i It is impossible to get Geronimo to understand that 
these troops served the general government instead of any 
particular town. He still thinks each town independent 
and each city a separate tribe. He cannot understand the 
relation of cities to the general government. 



104 



CHAPTER XII 

GERONIMO's MIGHTIEST BATTLE 

AFTER the treachery and massacre of 
L Casa Grande we did not reassemble 
for a long while, and when we did we re- 
turned to Arizona. We remained in Ari-jJ 
zona for some time, living in San Carlos 
Reservation, at a place now called Geron- 
imo. In 1883 we went into Mexico again. 
We remained in the mountain ranges of 
Mexico for about fourteen months, and dur- 
ing this time we had many skirmishes with 
Mexican troops. In 1884 we returned to/|» 
Arizona to get other Apaches to come with 
us into Mexico. The Mexicans were gath- 
ering troops in the mountains where we had 
been ranging, and their numbers were so 
much greater than ours that we could not 
hope to fight them successfully, and we were 

105 



GERONIMO 

tired of being chased about from place to 
place. 

In Arizona we had trouble with the 
United States soldiers (explained in next 
chapter) and returned to Mexico. 

We had lost about fifteen warriors in 
Arizona, and had gained no recruits. With 
our reduced number we camped in the moun- 
tains north of Arispe. Mexican troops were 
seen by our scouts in several directions. The 
United States troops were coming down 
from the north. We were well armed with 
guns and supplied with ammunition, but we 
did not care to be surrounded by the troops 
of two governments, so we started to move 
our camp southward. 

One night we made camp some distance 
from the mountains by a stream. There 
was not much water in the stream, but a 
deep channel was worn through the prairie 
and small trees were beginning to grow here 
and there along the bank of this stream. 

In those days we never camped without 

106 



HIS MIGHTEST BATTLE 

placing scouts, for we knew that we were 
liable to be attacked at any time. The next 
morning just at daybreak our scouts came in, 
aroused the camp, and notified us that Mex- 
ican troops were approaching. Within five 
minutes the Mexicans began firing on us. 
We took to the ditches made by the stream, 
and had the women and children busy dig- 
ging these deeper. I gave strict orders to 
waste no ammunition and keep under cover. 
We killed many Mexicans that day and in 
turn lost heavily, for the fight lasted all day. 
Frequently troops would charge at one point, 
be repulsed, then rally and charge at another 
point. 

About noon we began to hear them speak- 
ing my name with curses. In the afternoon 
the general came on the field and the fight- 
ing became more furious. I gave orders to 
my warriors to try to kill all the Mexican 
officers. About three o'clock the general 
called all the officers together at the right 
side of the field. The place where they as- 

107 



GERONIMO 

sembled was not very far from the main 
stream, and a little ditch ran out close to 
where the officers stood. Cautiously I 
crawled out this ditch very close to where 
the council was being held. The general was 
an old warrior. The wind was blowing in 
my direction, so that I could hear all he said, 
and 1 1 understood most of it. This is about 
what he told them: "Officers, yonder in 
those ditches is the red devil Geronimo and 
his hated band. This must be his last day. 
Ride on him from both sides of the ditches ; 
kill men, women, and children ; take no pris- 
oners; dead Indians are what we want. Do 
not spare your own men; exterminate this 
band at any cost ; I will post the wounded to 
shoot all deserters; go back to your com- 
panies and advance." 

Just as the command to go forward was 
given I took deliberate aim at the general 
and he fell. In an instant the ground 
around me was riddled with bullets, but I 

i Geronimo has a fair knowledge of the Spanish language. 

108 



o 




or 


r 


n' 


o 


-*> 


* 


o 


W 


-hi 




E 


3 




o 





— 


3 


»T* 







rs 

0) 



a 



O 
w 

o 

3 




HIS MIGHTEST BATTLE 

was untouched. The Apaches had seen. 
From all along the ditches arose the fierce 
war-cry of my people. The columns wav- 
ered an instant and then swept on; they did 
not retreat until our fire had destroyed the 
front ranks. 

After this their fighting was not so fierce, 
yet they continued to rally and readvance 
until dark. They also continued to speak 
my name with threats and curses. That 
night before the firing had ceased a dozen 
Indians had crawled out of the ditches and 
set fire to the long prairie grass behind the 
Mexican troops. During the confusion that 
followed we escaped to the mountains. 

This was the last battle that I ever fought 
with Mexicans. United States troops were, 
trailing us continually from this time until 
the treaty was made with General Miles in 
Skeleton Canon. 

During my many wars with the Mexicans 
I received eight wounds, as follows: shot in 
the right leg above the knee, and still carry 

109 



GERONIMO 

the bullet; shot through the left forearm; 
wounded in the right leg below the knee with 
a saber ; wounded on top of the head with the 
butt of a musket; shot just below the outer 
corner of the left eye ; shot in left side ; shot 
in the back. I have killed many Mexicans ; 
I do not know how many, for frequently I 
did not count them. Some of them were 
not worth counting. 

It has been a long time since then, but still 
I have no love for the Mexicans. With me 
they were always treacherous and malicious. 
I am old now and shall never go on the war- 
path again, but if I were young, and fol- 
lowed the warpath, it would lead into Old 
Mexico. 



no 



PART III 



THE WHITE MEN 






CHAPTER XIII 

COMING OF THE WHITE MEN 

ABOUT the time of the massacre of 
fc "Kaskiyeh" (1858) we heard that 
some white men were measuring land to the 
south of us. In company with a number of 
other warriors I went to visit them. We 
could not understand them very well, for we 
had no interpreter, but we made a treaty 
with them by shaking hands and promising 
to be brothers. Then we made our camp 
near their camp, and they came to trade 
with us. We gave them buckskin, blankets, 
and ponies in exchange for shirts and pro- 
visions. We also brought them game, for 
which they gave us some money. We did 
not know the value of this money, but we 
kept it and later learned from the Navajo 
Indians that it was very valuable. 

113 



GERONIMO 

Every day they measured land with curi- 
ous instruments and put down marks which 
we could not understand. They were good 
men, and we were sorry when they had gone 
on into the west. They were not soldiers. 
These were the first white men I ever saw. 

About ten years later some more white 
men came. These were all warriors. They 
made their camp on the Gila River south of 
Hot Springs. At first they were friendly 
and we did not dislike them, but they were 
not as good as those who came first. 

After about a year some trouble arose 
between them and the Indians, and I took 
the warpath as a warrior, not as a chief. 1 I 
had not been wronged, but some of my peo- 
ple had been, and I fought with my tribe; 
for the soldiers and not the Indians were at 
fault. 

Not long after this some of the officers 
of the United States troops invited our 

i As a tribe they would fight under their tribal chief, 
Mangus-Colorado. If several tribes had been called out, the 
war chief, Geronimo, would have commanded. 

114 



THE WHITE MEN 

leaders to hold a conference at Apache Pass 
(Fort Bowie). Just before noon the In- 
dians were shown into a tent and told that 
they would be given something to eat. 
When in the tent they were 2 attacked by 
soldiers. Our chief, Mangus- Colorado, 
and several other warriors, by cutting 
through the tent, escaped; but most of the 
warriors were killed or captured. Among 
the Bedonkohe Apaches killed at this time 
were Sanza, Kladetahe, Niyokahe, and 
Gopi. After this treachery the Indians 
went back to the mountains and left the 

2 Regarding this attack, Mr. L. C. Hughes, editor of 
The Star, Tucson, Arizona, to whom I was referred by 
General Miles, writes as follows: 

*'It appears that Cochise and his tribe had been on the 
warpath for some time and he with a number of sub- 
ordinate chiefs was brought into the military camp at 
Bowie under the promise that a treaty of peace was to 
Ito held, when they were taken into a large tent where 
handcuffs were put upon them. Cochise, seeing this, cut 
his way through the tent and fled to the mountains; and 
in less than six hours had surrounded the camp with from 
three to five hundred warriors; but the soldiers refused to 
make fight/' 

115 



GERONIMO 

fort entirely alone. I do not think that the 
agent had anything to do with planning 
this, for he had always treated us well. I 
believe it was entirely planned by the 
soldiers. 

From 3 the very first the soldiers sent out 
to our western country, and the officers in 
charge of them, did not hesitate to wrong 
the Indians. They never explained to the 
Government when an Indian was wronged, 
but always reported the misdeeds of the In- 
dians. Much that was done by mean white 
men was reported at Washington as the 
deeds of my people. 

The Indians always tried to live peace- 
ably with the white soldiers and settlers. 
One day during the time that the soldiers 
were stationed at Apache Pass I made a 
treaty with the post. This was done by shak- 
ing hands and promising to be brothers. 
Cochise and Mangus- Colorado did likewise. 

* This sweeping statement is more general than we are 
willing to concede, yet it may be more nearly true than 
our own accounts. 

116 



THE WHITE MEN 

I do not know the name of the officer in 
command, but this was the first regiment 
that ever came to Apache Pass. This treaty 
was made about a year before we were at- 
tacked in a tent, as above related. In a few 
days after the attack at Apache Pass we or- 
ganized in the mountains and returned to 
fight the soldiers. There were two tribes — 
the Bedonkohe and the Chokonen Apaches, 
both commanded by Cochise. After a few 
days' skirmishing we attacked a freight train 
that was coming in with supplies for the 
Fort. We killed some of the men and cap- 
tured the others. These prisoners our chief 
offered to trade for the Indians whom the 
soldiers had captured at the massacre in the 
tent. This the officers refused, so we killed 
our prisoners, disbanded, and went into hid- 
ing in the mountains. Of those who took 
part in this affair I am the only one now 
living. 

In a few days troops were sent out to 
search for us, but as we were disbanded, it 

117 




GERONIMO 

was, of course, impossible for them to locate 

any hostile camp. During the time they 

were searching for us many of our war- 

yv riors (who were thought by the soldiers to 

£ be peaceable Indians) talked to the officers 
and men, advising them where they might 
find the camp they sought, and while they 
searched we watched them from our hiding 
places and laughed at their failures. 

VL After this trouble all of the Indians 
agreed not to be friendly with the white men 
any more. There was no general engage- 
ment, but a long struggle followed. Some- 
times we attacked the white men — sometimes 
they attacked us. First a few Indians 
would be killed and then a few soldiers. I 
think the killing was about equal on each 
side. The number killed in these troubles 
did not amount to much, but this treachery 
on the part of the soldiers had angered the 
Indians and revived memories of other 
wrongs, so that we never again trusted the 
United States troops. 

118 




Quanah Parker 
Chief of Comanche Indians 



CHAPTER XIV 

GREATEST OF WRONGS 

PERHAPS the greatest wrong ever f 
done to the Indians was the treat- 
ment received by our tribe from the United 
States troops about 1863. The chief of our 
tribe, Mangus-Colorado, went to make a 
treaty of peace for our people with the 
white settlement at Apache Tejo, New Mex- 
ico. It had been reported to us that the 
white men in this settlement were more 
friendly and more reliable than those in Ari- 
zona, that they would live up to their treaties 
and would not wrong the Indians. 

Mangus-Colorado, with three other war- 
riors, went to Apache Tejo and held a coun- 
cil with these citizens and soldiers. They 
told him that if he would come with his tribe 
and live near them, they would issue to him, 
from the Government, blankets, flour, pro- 

119 



GERONIMO 

visions, beef, and all manner of supplies. 
Our chief promised to return to Apache 
Tejo within two weeks. When he came 
back to our settlement he assembled the 
whole tribe in council. I did not believe that 
the people at Apache Tejo would do as they 
said and therefore I opposed the plan, but 
it was decided that with part of the tribe 
Mangus-Colorado should return to Apache 
Tejo and receive an issue of rations and sup- 
plies. If they were as represented, and if 
these white men would keep the treaty faith- 
fully, the remainder of the tribe would join 
him and we would make our permanent home 
at Apache Tejo. I was to remain in charge 
of that portion of the tribe which stayed in 
Arizona. We gave almost all of our arms 
and ammunition to the party going to 
Apache Tejo, so that in case there should 
be treachery they would be prepared for 
any surprise. Mangus-Colorado and about 
half of our people went to New Mexico, 

happy that now they had found white men 

120 



II 



GREATEST OF WRONGS 

who would be kind to them, and with whom 
they could live in peace and plenty. 

No word ever came to us from them. 
From other sources, however, we heard that 
they had been treacherously * captured and 
slain. In this dilemma we did not know just 
exactly what to do, but fearing that the 
troops who had captured them would attack 
us, we retreated into the mountains near 
Apache Pass. 

During the weeks that followed the de- 
parture of our people we had been in sus- 
pense, and failing to provide more supplies, 
had exhausted all of our store of provisions. 
This was another reason for moving camp. 
On this retreat, while passing through the 
mountains, we discovered four men with a 
herd of cattle. Two of the men were in 
front in a buggy and two were behind on 

i General Miles telegraphed from Whipple Barracks,} 
Arizona, Sept. 24, 1886, relative to the surrender of the 
Apaches. Among other things he said : " Mangus-Colorado 
had years ago been foully murdered after he had sur-J 
rendered." 

121 



GERONIMO 

horseback. We killed all four, but did not 
scalp them; they were not warriors. We 
drove the cattle back into the mountains, 
made a camp, and began to kill the cattle 
and pack the meat. 

Before we had finished this work we were 
surprised and attacked by United States 
troops, who killed in all seven Indians — one 
warrior, three women, and three children. 
The Government troops were mounted and 
so were we, but we were poorly armed, hav- 
ing given most of our weapons to the divi- 
sion of our tribe that had gone to Apache 
iTejo, so we fought mainly with spears, bows, 
and arrows. At first I had a spear, a bow, 
and a few arrows; but in a short time my 
spear and all my arrows were gone. Once 
I was surrounded, but by dodging from side 
to side of my horse as he ran I escaped. It 
was necessary during this fight for many of 
the warriors to leave their horses and escape 
on foot. But my horse was trained to come 

at call, and as soon as I reached a safe place, 

122 



GREATEST OF WRONGS 

if not too closely pursued, I would call him 
to me. 2 During this fight we scattered in all 
directions and two days later reassembled at 
our appointed place of rendezvous, about 
fifty miles from the scene of this battle. 

About ten days later the same United 
States troops attacked our new camp at sun- 
rise. The fight lasted all day, but our ar- 
rows and spears were all gone before ten 
o'clock, and for the remainder of the day we 
had only rocks and clubs with which to fight. 
We could do little damage with these weap- 
ons, and at night we moved our camp about 
four miles back into the mountains where it 
would be hard for the cavalry to follow us. 
The next day our scouts, who had been left 
behind to observe the movements of the sol- 
diers, returned, saying that the troops had 
gone back toward San Carlos Reservation. 

A few days after this we were again at- 
tacked by another company of United 

2 Geronimo often calls his horses to him in Fort Sill 
Reservation. He gives only one shrill note and they run 
to him at full speed. 

123 



GERONIMO 

States troops. Just before this fight we had 
been joined by a band of Chokonen Indians 
under Cochise, who took command of both 
divisions. We were repulsed, and decided 
to disband. 

After we had disbanded our tribe the 
Bedonkohe Apaches reassembled near their 
old camp vainly waiting for the return of 
Mangus-Colorado and our kinsmen. No 
tidings came save that they had all been 
treacherously slain. 3 Then a council was 
held, and as it was believed that Mangus- 
Colorado was dead, I was elected Tribal 
Chief. 

For a long time we had no trouble with 
anyone. It was more than a year after I 
had been made Tribal Chief that United 
States troops surprised and attacked our 
camp. They killed seven children, five 
women, and four warriors, captured all our 

3 Regarding the killing of Mangus-Colorado, "L. C. 
Hughes of the Tucson, Ariz., Star, writes as follows: "It 
was early in the year '63, when General West and his 
troops were camped near Membras, that he sent Jack 

121- 



GREATEST OF WRONGS 

supplies, blankets, horses, and clothing, and 
destroyed our tepees. We had nothing left ; 
winter was beginning, and it was the cold- 
est winter I ever knew. After the soldiers 
withdrew I took three warriors and trailed 
them. Their trail led back toward San 
Carlos. 

Swilling, a scout, to bring in Mangus, who had been on 
the warpath ever since the time of the incident with 
Cochise at Bowie. The old chief was always for peace, 
and gladly accepted the proffer; when he appeared at the 
camp General West ordered him put into the guard-house, 
in which there was only a small opening in the rear and 
but one small window. As the old chief entered he said: 
4 This is my end. I shall never again hunt over the 
mountains and through the valleys of my people.' He 
felt that he was to be assassinated. The guards were given 
orders to shoot him if he attempted to escape. He lay 
down and tried to sleep, but during the night, someone 
threw a large stone which struck him in the breast. He 
sprang up and in his delirium the guards thought he was 
attempting escape and several of them shot him; this was 
the end of Mangus. 

" His head was severed from his body by a surgeon, 
and the brain taken out and weighed. The head meas- 
ured larger than that of Daniel Webster, and the brain 
was of corresponding weight. The skull was sent to 
Washington, and is now on exhibition at the Smith- 
sonian Institution." 

125 



CHAPTER XV 

REMOVALS 

WHILE returning from trailing the 
Government troops we saw two 
men, a Mexican and a white man, and shot 
them off their horses. With these two 
horses we returned and moved our camp. 
My people were suffering much and it was 
deemed advisable to go where we could get 
more provisions. Game was scarce in our 
range then, and since I had been Tribal 
Chief I had not asked for rations from the 
Government, nor did I care to do so, but we 
did not wish to starve. 

We had heard that Chief Victoria of the 
Chihenne (Oje Caliente) Apaches was hold- 
ing a council with the white men near Hot 
Springs in New Mexico, and that he had 
plenty of provisions. We had always been 

126 



REMOVALS 

on friendly terms with this tribe, and Vic- 
toria was especially kind to my people. 
With the help of the two horses we had cap- 
tured, to carry our sick with us, we went to 
Hot Springs. We easily found Victoria 
and his band, and they gave us supplies for 
the winter. We stayed with them for about 
a year, and during this stay we had perfect 
peace. We had not the least trouble with 
Mexicans, white men, or Indians. When we 
had stayed as long as we should, and had 
again accumulated some supplies, we de- 
cided to leave Victoria's band. When I told 
him that we were going to leave he said that 
we should have a feast and dance before we 
separated. 

The festivities were held about two miles 
above Hot Springs, and lasted for four 
days. There were about four hundred In- 
dians at this celebration. I do not think we 
ever spent a more pleasant time than upon 
this occasion. No one ever treated our tribe 
more kindly than Victoria and his band. We 

127 



GERONIMO 

are still proud to say that he and his people 
were our friends. 

When I went to Apache Pass (Fort 
Bowie) I found General Howard * in com- 
mand, and made a treaty with him. This 
treaty lasted until long after General How- 
ard had left our country. He always kept 
his word with us and treated us as brothers. 
We never had so good a friend among the 
United States officers as General Howard. 
We could have lived forever at peace with 
him. If there is any pure, honest white man 
in the United States army, that man is Gen- 
eral Howard. All the Indians respect him, 
and even to this day frequently talk of the 
happy times when General Howard was in 
command of our Post. After he went away 
he placed an agent at Apache Pass who is- 

i General O. O. Howard was not in command, but had 
been sent by President Grant, in 1872, to make peace with 
the Apache Indians. The general wrote me from Burling- 
ton, Vt., under date of June 12, 1906, that he remembered 
the treaty, and that he also remembered with much satisfac- 
tion subsequently meeting Geronimo. — Editor. 

128 



REMOVALS 

sued to us from the Government clothing, 
rations, and supplies, as General Howard 
directed. When beef was issued to the In- 
dians I got twelve steers for my tribe, and 
Cochise got twelve steers for his tribe. Ra- 
tions were issued about once a month, but 
if we ran out we only had to ask and we 
were supplied. Now, as prisoners of war in 
this Reservation, we do not get such good 
rations. 2 

Out on the prairie away from Apache 
Pass a man kept a store and saloon. Some 
time after General Howard went away a 
band of outlawed Indians killed this man, 
and took away many of the supplies from 
his store. On the very next day after this 
some Indians at the Post were drunk on 
"tiswin," which they had made from corn. 
They fought among themselves and four of 
them were killed. There had been quarrels 
and feuds among them for some time, and 

2 They do not receive full rations now, as they did then. 

129 



GEROXIMO 

after this trouble we deemed it impossible to 
keep the different bands together in peace. 
Therefore we separated, each leader taking 
his own band. Some of them went to San 
Carlos and some to Old Mexico, but I took 
my tribe back to Hot Springs and rejoined 
Victoria's band. 



ISO 



XVI 

IN PRISON AND ON THE WARPATH 

SOON after we arrived in New Mexico 
two companies of scouts were sent 
from San Carlos. When they came to Hot 
Springs they sent word for me and Victoria 
to come to town. The messengers did not 
say what they wanted with us, but as they 
seemed friendly we thought they wanted a 
council, and rode in to meet the officers. As 
soon as we arrived in town soldiers met us, 
disarmed us, and took us both to headquar- 
ters, where we were tried by court-martial. 
They asked us only a few questions and then 
Victoria was released and I was sentenced 
to the guardhouse. Scouts conducted me to 
the guardhouse and put me in chains. When 
I asked them why they did this they said 
it was because I had left Apache Pass. 

131 



A 



GERONIMO 

I do not think that I ever belonged to 
those soldiers at Apache Pass, or that I 
should have asked them where I might go. 
Our bands could no longer live in peace 1 to- 
gether, and so we had quietly withdrawn, 
expecting to live with Victoria's band, where 
we thought we would not be molested. They 
also sentenced seven other Apaches to chains 
in the guardhouse. 

I do not know why this was done, for 
these Indians had simply followed me from 
Apache Pass to Hot Springs. If it was 
wrong (and I do not think it was wrong) 
for us to go to Hot Springs, I alone was to 
blame. They asked the soldiers in charge 
why they were imprisoned and chained, but 
received no answer. 

I was kept a prisoner for four months, 
during which time I was transferred to San 

l Victoria, chief of the Hot Spring Apaches, met his 
death in opposing the forcible removal of his band to a 
reservation, because having previously tried and failed he 
felt it impossible for separate bands of Apaches to live at 
peace under such arrangement. 

132 



ON THE WARPATH 

Carlos. Then I think I had another trial, 
although I was not present. In fact I do 
not know that I had another trial, but I was 
told that I had, and at any rate I was re- 
leased. 

After this we had no more trouble with 
the soldiers, but I never felt at ease any 
longer at the Post. We were allowed to live 
above San Carlos at a place now called 
Geronimo. A man whom the Indians 
called " Nick Golee " was agent at this place. 
All went well here for a period of two years, 
but we were not satisfied. 

In the summer of 1883 a rumor was cur- 
rent that the officers were again planning to 
imprison our leaders. This rumor served 
to revive the memory of all our past wrongs 
— the massacre in the tent at Apache Pass, 
the fate of Mangus- Colorado, and my own 
unjust imprisonment, which might easily 
have been death to me. Just at this time we 
were told that the officers wanted us to come 
up the river above Geronimo to a fort (Fort 

133 



GERONIMO 

Tholnas) to hold a council with them. We 
did not believe that any good could come of 
this conference, or that there was any need 
of it; so we held a council ourselves, and 
fearing treachery, decided to leave the reser- 
vation. We thought it more manly to die 
on the warpath than to be killed in prison. 

There were in all about 250 Indians, 
chiefly the Bedonkohe and Nedni Apaches, 
led by myself and Whoa. We went through 
Apache Pass and just west of there had a 
fight with the United States troops. In this 
battle we killed three soldiers and lost none. 

We went on toward Old Mexico, but on 
the second day after this United States sol- 
diers overtook us about three o'clock in the 
afternoon and we fought until dark. The 
ground where we were attacked was very 
rough, which was to our advantage, for the 
troops were compelled to dismount in order 
to fight us. I do not know how many sol- 
diers we killed, but we lost only one warrior 
and three children. We had plenty of guns 

134 



ON THE WARPATH 

and ammunition at this time. Many of the 
guns and much ammunition we had accumu- 
lated while living in the reservation, and the 
remainder we had obtained from the White 
Mountain Apaches when we left the reser- 
vation. 

Troops did not follow us any longer, 
so we went south almost to Casa Grande 
and camped in the Sierra de Sahuaripa 
Mountains. We ranged in the mountains 
of Old Mexico for about a year, then re- 
turned to San Carlos, taking with us a herd 
of cattle and horses. 

Soon after we arrived at San Carlos the 
officer in charge, General Crook, took the 
horses and cattle away from us. I told him 
that these were not white men's cattle, but 
belonged to us, for we had taken them from 
the Mexicans during our wars. I also told 
him that we did not intend to kill these ani- 
mals, but that we wished to keep them and 
raise stock on our range. He would not lis- 
ten to me, but took the stock. I went up 

135 



GERONIMO 

near Forth Apache and General Crook or- 
dered officers, soldiers, and scouts to see that 
I was arrested; if I offered resistance they 
were instructed to kill me. 

This information was brought to me by 
the Indians. When I learned of this pro- 
posed action I left for Old Mexico, and 
about four hundred Indians went with me. 
They were the Bedonkohe, Chokonen, and 
Nedni Apaches. At this time Whoa was 
dead, and Naiche was the only chief with 
me. We went south into Sonora and camped 
in the mountains. Troops followed us, but 
did not attack us until we were camped in 
the mountains west of Casa Grande. Here 
we were attacked by Government Indian 
scouts. One boy was killed and nearly all of 
our women and children were captured. 2 

After this battle we went south of Casa 
Grande and made a camp, but within a few 
days this camp was attacked by Mexican 

2 Geronimo's whole family, excepting his eldest son, a 
warrior, were captured. 

136 



ON THE WARPATH 

soldiers. We skirmished with them all day, 
killing a few Mexicans, but sustaining no 
loss ourselves. B 

That night we went east into the foothills 
of the Sierra Madre Mountains and made 
another camp. Mexican troops trailed us, 
and after a few days attacked our camp 
again. This time the Mexicans had a very 
large army, and we avoided a general en- 
gagement. It is senseless to fight when you 
cannot hope to win. 

That night we held a council of war; our 
scouts had reported bands of United States 
and Mexican troops at many points in the 
mountains. We estimated that about two 
thousand soldiers were ranging these moun- 
tains seeking to capture us. 

General Crook had come down into Mex- 
ico with the United States troops. They 
were camped in the Sierra de Antunez 
Mountains. Scouts told me that General 
Crook wished to see me and I went to his 
camp. When I arrived General Crook said 

137 



4 



GERONIMO 

to me, " Why did you leave the reserva- 
tion? " I said: " You told me that I might 
live in the reservation the same as white peo- 
ple lived. One year I raised a crop of corn, 
and gathered and stored it, and the next year 
I put in a crop of oats, and when the crop 
was almost ready to harvest, you told your 
soldiers to put me in prison, and if I resisted 
to kill me. If I had been let alone I would 
now have been in good circumstances, but 
instead of that you and the Mexicans are 
hunting me with soldiers." He said: "I 
never gave any such orders; the troops at 
Fort Apache, who spread this report, knew 
that it was untrue." Then I agreed to go 
back with him to San Carlos. 

It was hard for me to believe him at that 
time. Now I know that what he said was 
untrue, 3 and I firmly believe that he did issue 
the orders for me to be put in prison, or to 
be killed in case I offered resistance. 

sGeronimo's exact words, for which the Editor disclaims 
any responsibility. 

138 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE FINAL STRUGGLE 

WE started with all our tribe to go 
with General Crook back to the 
United States, but I feared treachery and 
decided to remain in Mexico. We were 
not under any guard at this time. The 
United States troops marched in front and 
the Indians followed, and when we became 
suspicious, we turned back. I do not know 
how far the United States army went after 
myself, and some warriors turned back be- 
fore we were missed, and I do not care. 

I have suffered much from such unjust 
orders as those of General Crook. Such acts 
have caused much distress to my people. I 
think that General Crook's death 1 was sent 

i These are the exact words of Geronimo. The Editor is 
not responsible for this criticism of General Crook. 

139 



GERONIMO 

by the Almighty as a punishment for the 
many evil deeds he committed. 

Soon General Miles was made comman- 
der of all the western posts, and troops 
trailed us continually. They were led by 
Captain Lawton, who had good scouts. The 
Mexican 2 soldiers also became more active 
and more numerous. We had skirmishes 
almost every day, and so we finally decided 
to break up into small bands. With six men 
and four women I made for the range of 
mountains near Hot Springs, New Mex- 
ico. We passed many cattle ranches, but 
had no trouble with the cowboys. We killed 
cattle to eat whenever we were in need of 
food, but we frequently suffered greatly 
for water. At one time we had no water for 
two days and nights and our horses almost 
died from thirst. We ranged in the moun- 
tains of New Mexico for some time, then 
thinking that perhaps the troops had left 

2 Governor Torres of Sonora had agreed to cooperate 
with our troops in exterminating or capturing this tribe. 

140 



THE FINAL STRUGGLE 

Mexico, we returned. On our return through 
Old Mexico we attacked every Mexican 
found, even if for no other reason than to 
kill. We believed they had asked the United 
States troops to come down to Mexico to 
fight us. 

South of Casa Grande, near a place 
called by the Indians Gosoda, there was 
a road leading out from the town. There 
was much freighting carried on by the Mex- 
icans over this road. Where the road ran 
through a mountain pass we stayed in hid- 
ing, and whenever Mexican freighters 
passed we killed them, took what supplies 
we wanted, and destroyed the remainder. 
We were reckless of our lives, because we 
felt that every man's hand was against us. 
If we returned to the reservation we would 
be put in prison and killed; if we stayed in ' 
Mexico they would continue to send soldiers \ 
to fight us ; so we gave no quarter to anyone 
and asked no favors. 

After some time we left Gosoda and 

141 



-\ 



GERONIMO 

soon were reunited with our tribe in the 
Sierra de Antunez Mountains. 

Contrary to our expectations the United 
States soldiers had not left the mountains in 
Mexico, and were soon trailing us and skir- 
mishing with us almost every day. Four or 
five times they surprised our camp. One 
time they surprised us about nine o'clock in 
the morning, and captured all our horses 3 
(nineteen in number) and secured our store 
of dried meats. We also lost three Indians 
in this encounter. About the middle of the 
afternoon of the same day we attacked them 
from the rear as they were passing through 
a prairie — killed one soldier, but lost none 
ourselves. In this skirmish we recovered all 
our horses except three that belonged to me. 
The three horses that we did not recover 
were the best riding horses we had. 

Soon after this we made a treaty with the 

3 Captain Lawton reports officially the same engagement 
(see page 151), but makes no mention of the recapture (by the 
Apaches) of the horses. 

142 



THE FINAL STRUGGLE 

Mexican troops. They told us that the 
United States troops were the real cause of 
these wars, and agreed not to fight any more 
with us provided we would return to the 
United States. This we agreed to do, 
and resumed our march, expecting to try to 
make a treaty with the United States sol- 
diers and return to Arizona. There seemed 
to be no other course to pursue. 

Soon after this scouts from Captain Law- 
ton's troops told us that he wished to make 
a treaty with us; but I knew that General 
Miles was the chief of the American troops, 
and I decided to treat with him. 

We continued to move our camp north- 
ward, and the American troops also moved 
northward, 4 keeping at no great distance 
from us, but not attacking us. 

I sent my brother Porico (White Horse) 
with Mr. George Wratton on to Fort Bowie 
to see General Miles, and to tell him that 

4 See page 154. 



143 



GERONIMO 

we wished to return to Arizona; but before 
these messengers returned I met two Indian 
scouts — Kayitah, a Chokonen Apache, and 
Marteen, a Nedni Apache. They were serv- 
ing as scouts for Captain Lawton's troops. 
They told me that General Miles had come 
and had sent them to ask me to meet him. 
So I went to the camp of the United States 
troops to meet General Miles. 

When I arrived at their camp I went di- 
rectly to General Miles and told him how I 
had been wronged, and that I wanted to re- 
turn to the United States with my people, 
as we wished to see our families, who had 
been captured 5 and taken away from us. 

General Miles said to me : " The Presi- 
dent of the United States has sent me to 
speak to you. He has heard of your trou- 
ble with the white men, and says that if you 
will agree to a few words of treaty we need 
have no more trouble. Geronimo, if you 
will agree to a few words of treaty all will 
be satisfactorily arranged." 

BSee page 136. 
144 




GOTEBO 

War Chief, Kiowa Indians 



THE FINAL STRUGGLE 

So General Miles told me how we could 
be brothers to each other. We raised our 
hands to heaven and said that the treaty was 
not to be broken. We took an oath not to 
do any wrong to each other or to scheme 
against each other. 

Then he talked with me for a long time 
and told me what he would do for me in the 
future if I would agree to the treaty. I did 
not greatly believe General Miles, but be- 
cause the President of the United States 
had sent me word I agreed to make the 
treaty, and to keep it. Then I asked Gen- 
eral Miles what the treaty would be. Gen- 
eral Miles said to me : 6 "I will take you 
under Government protection; I will build 
you a house; I will fence you much land; 
I will give you cattle, horses, mules, and 
farming implements. You will be fur- 
nished with men to work the farm, for you 
yourself will not have to work. In the fall 
I will send you blankets and clothing so that 

o For terms of treaty see page 154. 

145 



GERONIMO 

you will not suffer from cold in the winter 
time. 

" There is plenty of timber, water, and 
grass in the land to which I will send you. 
You will live with your tribe and with your 
family. If you agree to this treaty you shall 
see your family within five days." 

I said to General Miles: "All the of- 
ficers that have been in charge of the Indians 
have talked that way, and it sounds like a 
story to me; I hardly believe you." 

He said: " This time it is the truth." 

I said : " General Miles, I do not know 
the laws of the white man, nor of this new 
country where you are to send me, and I 
might break their laws." 

He said: "While I live you will not be 
arrested." ^ 

Then I agreed to make the treaty. 
( Since I have been a prisoner of war I have 
been arrested and placed in the guardhouse 
twice for drinking whisky.) 

We stood between his troopers and my 

146 



THE FINAL STRUGGLE 

warriors. We placed a large stone on the 
blanket before us. Our treaty was made by 
this stone, and it was to last until the stone 
should crumble to dust; so we made the 
treaty, and bound each other with an oath. 

I do not believe that I have ever violated 
that treaty; but General Miles 7 never ful- 
filled his promises. 

When we had made the treaty General 
Miles said to me: " My brother, you have in 
your mind how you are going to kill men, 
and other thoughts of war; I want you to 
put that out of your mind, and change your 
thoughts to peace." 

Then I agreed and gave up my arms. I 
said: " I will quit the warpath and live at 
peace hereafter." 

Then General Miles swept a spot of 
ground clear with his hand, and said: " Your 
past deeds shall be wiped out like this and 
you will start a new life." 

i The criticisms of General Miles in the foregoing chapter 
are from Geronimo, not from the Editor. 

147 



CHAPTER XVIII 

SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

ON February 11, 1887, the Senate 
passed the following resolution: 
" Resolved, That the Secretary of War 
be directed to communicate to the Senate all 
dispatches of General Miles referring* to the 
surrender of Geronimo, and all instruc- 
tions given to and correspondence with Gen- 
eral Miles in reference to the same." These 
papers are published in the Senate Execu- 
tive Documents, Second Session, 49th Con- 
gress, 1886-7, Volume II, Nos. Ill to 125. 
For an exhaustive account of the conditions 
of Geronimo's surrender the reader is re- 
ferred to that document, but this chapter is 
given to show briefly the terms of surrender, 
and corroborate, at least in part, the state- 
ments made by Geronimo. 

148 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

Upon assuming command of the Depart- 
ment of Arizona, General Nelson A. Miles 
was directed by the War Department to use 
most vigorous operations for the destruc- 
tion or capture of the hostile Apaches. 

The following extracts are from instruc- 
tions issued April 20th, 1886, for the in- 
formation and guidance of troops serving 
in the southern portion of Arizona and New 
Mexico. 

"The chief object of the troops will be 

to capture or destroy any band of hostile 

Apache Indians found in this section of 

country, and to this end the most vigorous 

and persistent efforts will be required of 

all officers and soldiers until the object is 

accomplished." 

. . . ' . • 

" A sufficient number of reliable Indians 
will be used as auxiliaries to discover any 
signs of hostile Indians, and as trailers." 



<< 



To avoid any advantage the Indians 

149 



GERONIMO 

* 

may have by a relay of horses, where a 
troop or squadron commander is near the 
hostile Indians he will be justified in dis- 
mounting one-half of his command and 
selecting the lightest and best riders to make 
pursuit by the most vigorous forced marches 
until the strength of all the animals of his 

command shall have been exhausted." 
• • • • • 

The following telegrams show the efforts 
of the United States troops and the coop- 
eration of Mexican troops under Governor 
Torres : 

" Headquarters Division of the Pacific, 

" Presidio of San Francisco, Cal. 

"July 22, 1886. 
"Adjutant General, 

"Washington, D. C: 

" The following telegram just received 
from General Miles: 

" ' Captain Lawton reports, through 
Colonel Royall, commanding at Fort 
Huachuca, that his camp surprised Ge- 

150 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

ronimo's camp on Yongi River, about 130 
miles south and east of Campas, Sonora, 
or nearly 300 miles south of Mexican boun- 
dary, capturing all the Indian property, in- 
cluding hundreds of pounds of dried meat 
and nineteen riding animals. This is the 
fifth time within three months in which the 
Indians have been surprised by the troops. 
While the results have not been decisive, 
yet it has given encouragement to the 
troops, and has reduced the numbers and 
strength of the Indians, and given them a 
feeling of insecurity even in the remote and 
almost inaccessible mountains of Old 
Mexico.' 

" In absence of division commander. 
I "C. McKeever, 

"Assistant Adjutant General." 



151 



GERONIMO 

" Headquarters Division of the Pacific, 
" Presidio of San Francisco, Cal. 

M August 19, 1886. 
"Adjutant General, 

"Washington, D. C: 

" Following received from General Miles, 
dated 18th: 

" ' Dispatches to-day from Governor 
Torres, dated Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, 
from Colonels Forsyth and Beaumont, 
commanding Huachuca and Bowie districts, 
confirms the following: Geronimo with 
forty Indians is endeavoring to make terms 
of peace with Mexican authorities of Fron- 
teraz district. One of our scouts, in return- 
ing to Fort Huachuca from Lawton's 
command, met him, Naiche, and thirteen 
other Indians on their way to Fronteraz ; had 
a long conversation with them; they said they 
wanted to make peace, and looked worn and 
hungry. Geronimo carried his right arm in 
a sling, bandaged. The splendid work of 
the troops is evidently having good effect. 

152 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

Should hostiles not surrender to the Mexican 
authorities, Lawton's command is south of 
them, and Wilder, with G and M troops, 
Fourth Cavalry, moved south to Fronteraz, 
and will be there by 20th. Lieutenant 
Lockett, with an effective command, will 
be in good position to-morrow, near Guada- 
lupe Canon, in Cajon Bonito Mountains. 
On the 11th I had a very satisfactory inter- 
view with Governor Torres. The Mexican 
officials are acting in concert with ours.' 

" O. O. Howard, 
"Major General." 

General O. O. Howard telegraphed from 
[Presidio, San Francisco, California, Sep- 
tember 24, 1886, as follows: 

"... The 6th of September General 
Miles reports the hostile Apaches made 
overtures of surrender, through Lieutenant 
Gatewood, to Captain Lawton. They de- 
sired certain terms and sent two messengers 
to me (Miles). They were informed that 

153 



GERONIMO 

they must surrender as prisoners of war to 
troops in the field. They promised to sur- 
render to me in person, and for eleven days 
Captain Lawton's command moved north, 
Geronimo and Naiche moving parallel and 
frequently camping near it. . . . At 
Skeleton Canon they halted, saying that 
they desired to see me (Miles) before sur- 
rendering." 

After Miles's arrival he reports as fol- 
lows: 

" Geronimo came from his mountain 
camp amid the rocks and said he was willing 
to surrender. He was told that they could 
surrender as prisoners of war; that it was 
not the way of officers of the Army to kill 
their enemies who laid down their arms." 

". . . Naiche was wild and suspi- 
cious and evidently feared treachery. He 
knew that the once noted leader, Mangus- 
Colorado, had, years ago, been foully mur- 
dered after he had surrendered, and the last 

154 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

hereditary chief of the hostile Apaches hes- 
itated to place himself in the hands of the 
palefaces. . • ." 

Continuing his report, General Howard 
says: 

" . . . I believed at first from official 
reports that the surrender was uncondi- 
tional, except that the troops themselves 
would not kill the hostiles. Now, from 
General Miles's dispatches and from his an- 
nual report, forwarded on the 21st instant 
by mail, the conditions are plain: First, 
that the lives of all the Indians should be 
spared. Second, that they should be sent 
to Fort Marion, Florida, where their tribe, 
including their families, had already been 
ordered. . . ." 

D. S. Stanley, Brigadier General, tele- 
graphs from San Antonio, Texas, October 
22, 1886, as follows: 



<( 



Geronimo and Naiche re- 

155 



GERONIMO 

quested an interview with me when they 
first ascertained that they were to leave here, 
and in talking to them, I told them the 
exact disposition that was to be made of 
them. They regarded the separation of 
themselves from their families as a violation 
of the terms of their treaty of surrender, by 
which they had been guaranteed, in the most 
positive manner conceivable to their minds, 
that they should be united with their fami- 
lies at Fort Marion. 

" There were present at the talk they had 
with me Major J. P. Wright, surgeon, 
United States Army; Captain J. G. Bal- 
lance, acting Judge-advocate, United States 
Army; George Wratton, 1 the interpreter; 
Naiche, and Geronimo. 

" The Indians were separated from their 
families at this place; the women, children, 

i Mr. George Wratton is now at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 
acting as Superintendent of Apaches. He has been with 
the Apaches as interpreter and superintendent since their 
surrender. 

156 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

and the two scouts were placed in a separate 
car before they left. 

" In an interview with me they stated the 
following incident, which they regard as an 
essential part of their treaty of surrender, 
and which took place at Skeleton Canon 
before they had, as a band, made up their 
minds to surrender, and before any of them, 
except perhaps Geronimo, had given up 
their arms, and when they were still fully 
able to escape and defend themselves. 

"General Miles said to them: 'You go 
with me to Fort Bowie and at a certain 
time you will go to see your relatives in 
Florida.' After they went to Fort Bowie 
he reassured them that they would see their 
relatives in Florida in four and a half or 
five days. 

" While at Skeleton Canon General Miles 
said to them: ' I have come to have a talk 
with you.' The conversation was inter- 
preted from English into Spanish and from 
Spanish into Apache and vice versa. The 

157 



GERONIMO 

interpreting from English into Spanish was 
done by a man by the name of Nelson. The 
interpreting from Spanish into Apache was 
done by Jose Maria Yaskes. Jose Maria 
Montoya was also present, but he did not do 
any of the interpreting. 

"Dr. Wood, United States Army, and 
Lieutenant Clay, Tenth Infantry, were 
present. 

" General Miles drew a line on the ground 
and said, ' This represents the ocean,' and, 
putting a small rock beside the line, he said, 
1 This represents the place where Chihua- 
hua is with his band.' He then picked up 
another stone and placed it a short distance 
from the first, and said, ' This represents 
you, Geronimo.' He then picked up a third 
stone and placed it a little distance from 
the others, and said, ' This represents the 
Indians at Camp Apache. The President 
wants to take you and put you with Chi- 
huahua.' He then picked up the stone 
which represented Geronimo and his band 

158 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

and put it beside the one which represented 
Chihuahua at Fort Marion. After doing 
this he picked up the stone which repre- 
sented the Indians at Camp Apache and 
placed it beside the other two stones which 
represented Geronimo and Chihuahau at 
Fort Marion, and said, * That is what the 
President wants to do, get all of you to- 
gether.' 

" After their arrival at Fort Bowie Gen- 
eral Miles said to them, ' From now on we 
want to begin a new life,' and holding up 
one of his hands with the palm open and 
horizontal he marked lines across it with 
the finger of the other hand and said, point- 
ing to his open palm, ' This represents the 
past; it is all covered with hollows and 
ridges/ then, rubbing his other palm over 
it, he said, ' That represents the wiping out 
of the past, which will be considered smooth 
and forgotten.' 

" The interpreter, Wratton, says that he 
was present and heard this conversation. 

159 



GERONIMO 

The Indians say that Captain Thompson, 
Fourth Cavalry, was also present. 

"Naiche said that Captain Thompson, 
who was the acting assistant adjutant gen- 
eral, Department of Arizona, told him at 
his house in Fort Bowie, ' Don't be afraid ; 
no harm shall come to you. You will go to 
your friends all right.' He also told them 
1 that Fort Marion is not a very large place, 
and is not probably large enough for all, 
and that probably in six months or so you 
will be put in a larger place, where you can 
do better.' He told them the same thing 
when they took their departure in the cars 
from Fort Bowie. 

" The idea that they had of the treaty of 
surrender given in this letter is forwarded 
at their desire, and, while not desiring to 
comment on the matter, I feel compelled 
to say that my knowledge of the Indian 
character, and the experience I have had 
with Indians of all kinds, and the cor- 
roborating circumstances and facts that 

160 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

have been brought to my notice in this par- 
ticular case, convince me that the foregoing 
statement of Naiche and Geronimo is sub- 
stantially correct." 

Extract from the annual report (1886) 
of the Division of the Pacific, commanded 
by Major General O. O. Howard, U. S. 
Army. 

u Headquarters Division of the Pacific, 
" Presidio of San Francisco, Cal. 
" September 17, 1886. 
"Adjutant General, 

"U. S. Army, Washington, D. C: 
"General: I have the honor to submit 
the following report upon military opera- 
tions and the condition of the Division of 
the Pacific for the information of the Lieu- 
tenant General, and to make some sugges- 
tions for his consideration: 

. « • . . 

" On the 17th of May, 1885, a party of 

about fifty of the Chiricahua prisoners, 

161 



GERONIMO 

headed by Geronimo, Naiche, and other 
chiefs, escaped from the White Mountain 
Reserve, in Arizona, and entered upon a 
career of murder and robbery unparalleled 
in the history of Indian raids. 

" Since then, and up to the time of my as- 
suming command of this division, they had 
been pursued by troops with varying suc- 
cess. 

" After the assassination of Captain Craw- 
ford, on January 11, by the Mexicans, the 
hostiles asked for a ' talk,' and finally had 
a conference on March 25, 26, and 27, with 
General Crook, in the Canon of Los Em- 
budos, 25 miles south of San Bernardino, 
Mexico, on which latter date it was arranged 
that they should be conducted by Lieutenant 
Manus, with his battalion of scouts, to Fort 
Bowie, Ariz. 

" The march commenced on the morning 

^> of March 28 and proceeded until the night 

of the 29th, when, becoming excited with 

fears of possible punishment, Geronimo 

162 




Emma Tuki.oxkv 



[ SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

and Naiche, with twenty men, fourteen 
women, and two boys, stampeded to the 
hills. Lieutenant Manus immediately pur- 
sued, but without success. 

. . . ' . • ■ 

" Simultaneously with my taking com- 
mand of the division Brigadier General 
Crook was relieved by Brigadier General 
Miles, who at once set out to complete the 
task commenced by his predecessor. 

" Geronimo and his band were committing 
depredations, now in the United States and 
now in Mexico, and, being separated into 
small parties, easily eluded the troops, and 
carried on their work of murder and out- 
rage. 

" Early in May General Miles organized 
the hostile field of operations into districts, 
each with its command of troops, with spe- 
cific instructions to guard the water holes, 
to cover the entire ground by scouting par- 
ties, and give the hostiles no rest. 

"An effective command, under Captain 

163 



GERONIMO 

Lawton, Fourth Cavalry, was organized for 
a long pursuit. 

" On May 3 Captain Lebo, Tenth Cav- 
alry, had a fight with Geronimo's band 12 
miles southwest of Santa Cruz, in Mexico, 
with a loss of one soldier killed and one 
wounded. After this fight the Indians re- 
treated southward followed by three troops 
of cavalry. 

" On May 12 a serious fight of Mexican 
troops with the hostiles near Planchos, Mex- 
ico, resulted in a partial defeat of the Mexi- 
cans. 

" On May 15 Captain Hatfield's com- 
mand engaged Geronimo's band in the 
Corrona Mountains, suffering a loss of two 
killed and three wounded, and the loss of 
several horses and mules, the Indians losing 
several killed. 

11 On May 16 Lieutenant Brown, Fourth 
Cavalry, struck the hostiles near Buena 
Vista, Mexico, capturing several horses, 
rifles, and a quantity of ammunition. 

164 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

"The usual series of outrages, with fa- 
tiguing chase by troops, continued until 
June 21, when the Mexicans engaged the 
hostiles about 40 miles southeast of Magda- 
lena, Mexico, and after a stubborn fight re- 
pulsed them. . . . 

• • • : • • 

" About the middle of August Geronimo 
and his band were so reduced and harassed 
by the tireless pursuit of the soldiers that 
they made offer of surrender to the Mexi- 
cans, but without coming to terms. 

" Their locality thus being definitely 
known, disposition of the troops was rapidly 
made to act in conjunction with the Mexi- 
cans to intercept Geronimo and force his 
surrender. 

" On August 25 Geronimo, when near 
Fronteraz, Mexico, recognizing that he was 
pretty well surrounded, and being out of 
ammunition and food, made overtures of 
capitulation, through Lieutenant Gate- 
wood, Sixth Cavalry, to Captain Lawton. 

165 



GERONIMO 

He desired certain terms, but was informed 
that a surrender as prisoner of war was all 
that would be accepted. 

" The Indians then proceeded to the vi- 
cinity of Captain Lawton's command, near 
Skeleton Canon, and sent word that they 
wished to see General Miles. 
*) " On September 3 General Miles arrived 
at Lawton's camp, and on September 4 
Naiche, the son of Cochise, and the heredi- 
tary chief of the Apaches, with Geronimo 
surrendered all the hostiles, with the under- 
standing, it seems, that they should be sent 
out of Arizona. 

" I am not informed of the exact nature 
of this surrender, at first deemed uncondi- 
tional. 






I am, sir, very respectfully, your obe- 
dient servant, 

" O. O. Howard, 
" Major General, United States Army." 



166 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

Statement of W. T. Melton, Ana&arko, 

Oklahoma. 

From 1882 to 1887 I lived in southern 
Arizona, and was employed by the Sansi- 
mone Cattle Company. 

In 1886 I was stationed in Skeleton 
Canon, about 10 miles north of the boun- 
dary line between Arizona and Old Mexico, 
with J. D. Prewitt. It was our duty to ride 
the lines south of our range and keep the 
cattle of the Company from straying into 
Old Mexico. 

One afternoon, when returning from our 
ride, we discovered an Indian trail leading 
toward our camp. We rode hurriedly out 
of the hills into a broad valley so that we 
could better discover any attacking parties 
of Apaches and if assailed have at least a 
fighting chance for our lives. We knew 
the Apaches under Geronimo were on the 
warpath, but they were far down in Old 
Mexico. However, our knowledge of the 

167 



GERONIMO 

Indians led us to expect anything at any 
time — to always be ready for the worst. 

When we reached the valley we struck 
a cavalry trail also headed for our camp. 
This was perplexing, for neither the Indians 
nor the soldiers seemed to have been riding 
fast, and both trails led toward our camp 
in Skeleton Canon. This canon was a nat- 
ural route from Old Mexico to Arizona, 
and almost all bands of Indians, as well as 
detachments of United States troops, passed 
and repassed through this valley when go- 
ing to Old Mexico or returning therefrom, 
but never before had two hostile bands 
passed through here at the same time and 
traveling in the same direction, except when 
one fled and the other pursued. What this 
could mean was a mystery to us. Could it 
be that the troops had not seen the Indians? 
Were the redskins trying to head the troops 
off and attack them in their camp? Were 
the troops hunting for those Indians? Could 
this be Lawton's command? Could that be 

168 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

Geronimo's band? No, it was impossible. 
Then who were these troops and what In- 
dians were those? 

Cautiously we rode to our camp, and 
nailed on the door of our cabin was this 
notice : 



a 



BE CAREFUL, GERONIMO IS NEAR BY AND 



HAS NOT YET SURRENDERED. 



" CAPT. LAWTON." 



Then we understood. 

A short distance above our cabin we 
found the camp of the troops and we had 
just finished talking with Captain Lawton, 
who advised us to remain in his camp rather 
than risk staying alone in our cabin, when 
up rode the chief, Geronimo. He was 
mounted on a blaze-faced, white-stockinged 
dun horse. 

He came directly to Captain Lawton and 
through an interpreter asked who we were 
and what we wanted. 

As soon as the explanation was given he 
nodded his approval and rode away. 

169 






GERONIMO 

Prewitt and I rode away with him. We 
were well armed and well mounted and Ge- 
ronimo was well mounted, but so far as we 
could see unarmed. I tried to talk with the 
chief (in English), but could not make him 
understand. Prewitt wanted to shoot 2 him 
and said he could easily kill him the first 
shot, but I objected and succeeded in re- 
straining him. While we were arguing the 
chief rode silently between us, evidently feel- 
ing perfectly secure. All this time we had 
been riding in the direction of our horses 
that were grazing in the valley about a mile 
distant from our corral. When we came to a 
place about a half mile from Lawton's camp, 
where a spur of the mountain ran far out 
into the valley, Geronimo turned aside, sa- 
luted, said in fairly good Spanish, " Adios, 
Senors/' and began to ascend a mountain 

- Recently Mr. Melton told Geronimo of this conversa- 
tion. The wily old chief laughed shyly and said, "What 
if Prewitt's pistol had been knocked out of his hand? 
Other men have tried to shoot me and at least some of 
them failed. But I'm glad he didn't try it." 

170 



\ SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

path. Later we learned that he was going 
directly toward his camp far up among the 
rocks. We rode on, drove our horses back 
to the corral and remained in our cabin all 
night, but were not molested by the In- 
dians. 

The next day we killed three beeves for 
the Indians, and they were paid for by Cap- 
tain Lawton. On the second day two 
mounted Mexican scouts came to Lawton's 
camp. As soon as these Mexicans came in 
sight the Indians seized their arms and van- 
ished, as it were, among the rocks. 

Captain Lawton wrote an account of con- 
ditions and delivered it to the Mexicans, 
who withdrew. After they had gone and 
their mission had been explained to Ge- 
ronimo the Indians again returned to their 
camp and laid down their arms. 

On the next day word reached camp th*\t 
General Miles was approaching and the In- 
dians again armed and disappeared among 
the rocks. (Many of the Apache squaws 

171 



GERONIMO 

had field glasses 3 and were stationed every 
day on prominent mountain peaks to keep a 
lookout. No one could approach their camp 
or Lawton's camp without being discovered 
by these spies.) 

Soon after General Miles joined Law- 
ton's command Geronimo rode into camp 
unarmed, and dismounting approached Gen- 
eral Miles, shook hands with him, and then 
stood proudly before the officers waiting 
for General Miles to begin conversation 
with him. 

The interpreter said to Geronimo, " Gen- 
eral Miles is your friend." Geronimo said, 
" I never saw him, but I have been in need 
of friends. Why has he not been with me? " 
When this answer was interpreted every- 
body laughed. After this there was no 
more formality and without delay the dis- 
cussion of the treaty was begun. All I 
remember distinctly of the treaty is that Ge- 

* These field glasses were taken from soldiers and officers 
(Mexicans and Americans) whom the Apaches had killed. 

172 



1 • 

» 3 » • 




W. F. Mkltov 
At whose camp in Skeleton Canon Geronimo surrendered 



I SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

ronimo and his band were not to be killed, 
but they were to be taken to their families. 

I remember this more distinctly, because 
the Indians were so much pleased with this 
particular one of the terms of the treaty. 

Geronimo, Naiche, and a few others went 
on ahead with General Miles, but the main 
band of Indians left under the escort of 
Lawton's troops. 

The night before they left, a young 
squaw, daughter-in-law of Geronimo, gave 
birth to a child. The next morning the hus- 
band, Geronimo's son, carried the child, but 
the mother mounted her pony unaided and 
rode away unassisted — a prisoner of war 
under military escort. 

On the afternoon of the day of the treaty 
Captain Lawton built a monument (about 
ten feet across and six feet high) of rough 
stones at the spot where the treaty was 
made. The next year some cowboys on a 
round-up camped at the place, and tore 
down the monument to see what was in it. 

173 



GERONIMO 

All they found was a bottle containing a 
piece of paper upon which was written the 
names of the officers who were with Lawton. 

After the Indians left we found one hun- 
dred and fifty dollars and twenty-five cents 
($150.25) in Mexican money hidden in a 
rat's nest 4 near where the Indians had 
camped. 

About ten o'clock on the morning after 
the Apaches and soldiers had gone away 
twenty Pimos Indians, accompanied by one 
white man, surrounded our camp and de- 
manded to know of Geronimo's where- 
abouts. We told them of the treaty and 
they followed the trail on toward Fort 
Bowie. 

That afternoon, thinking all danger from 
Apaches past, my partner, Prewitt, went to 
ride the lines and I was left in camp alone. 
I was pumping water (by horse-power) at 
the well, when I saw three Indians round- 

*This was a stick nest built on top of the ground by a 
species of woods rat. 

174 



SURRENDER OF GERONIMO 

ing up our horses about half a mile away. 
They saw me but did not disturb me, nor 
did I interfere with them, but as soon as 
they had driven that bunch of horses north- 
ward over the hill out of sight I rode quickly 
off in another direction and drove another 
bunch of horses into the corral. The rest 
of the afternoon I stayed in camp, but saw 
no more Indians. 

The next day we rode over the hill in the 
direction these Indians had gone and found 
that they had camped not three miles away. 
There were evidently several in the party 
and they had kept scouts concealed near the 
top of the hill to watch me, and to shoot me 
from ambush had I followed them. This 
we knew because we saw behind some rocks 
at the crest of the hill in the loose soil the 
imprints left by the bodies of three warriors 
where they had been lying down in conceal- 
ment. 

At their camp we found the head and 
hoofs of my favorite horse, " Digger," a 

175 



GERONIMO 

fine little sorrel pony, and knew that he had 
served them for dinner. We followed their 
trail far into Old Mexico, but did not over- 
take them. We had been accustomed to say 
"it was Geronimo's band," whenever any 
depredation was committed, but this time 

we were not so positive. 

• . . • • 

We do not wish to express our own opin- 
ion, but to ask the reader whether, after 
having had the testimony of Apaches, sol- 
diers, and civilians, who knew the condi- 
tions of surrender, and, after having 
examined carefully the testimony offered, it 
would be possible to conclude that Geronimo 
made an unconditional surrender? 

Before passing from this subject it would 
be well also to consider whether our Govern- 
ment has treated these prisoners in strict 
accordance with the terms of the treaty 
made in Skeleton Canon. 



176 



CHAPTER XIX 

A PRISONER OF WAR 

WHEN I had given up to the Gov- 
ernment they put me on the South- 
ern Pacific Railroad and took me to San 
Antonio, Texas, and held me to be tried by 
their laws. 

In forty days they took me from there to 
Fort Pickens (Pensacola), Florida. Here 
they put me to sawing up large logs. There 
were several other Apache warriors with me, 
and all of us had to work every day. For 
nearly two years we were kept at hard labor 
in this place and we did not see our families 
until May, 1887. This treatment was in 
direct violation of our treaty made at Skele- 
ton Canon. 

After this we were sent with our families 

to Vermont, Alabama, where we stayed five 

177 



GERONIMO 

years and worked for the Government. We 
had no property, and I looked in vain for 
General Miles to send me to that land of 
which he had spoken; I longed in vain for 
the implements, house, and stock that Gen- 
eral Miles had promised me. 

During this time one of my warriors, 
Fun, killed himself and his wife. Another 
one shot his wife and then shot himself. 
He fell dead, but the woman recovered and 
is still living. 

We were not healthy in this place, for the 
climate disagreed with us. So many of our 
people died that I consented to let one of my 
wives go to the Mescalero Agency in New 
Mexico to live. This separation is accord- 
ing to our custom equivalent to what the 
white people call divorce, and so she married 
again soon after she got to Mescalero. She 
also kept our two small children, which she 
had a right to do. The children, Lenna and 
Robbie, are still living at Mescalero, New 
Mexico. Lenna is married. I kept one 

178 



A PRISONER OF WAR 

wife, but she is dead now and I have only 
our daughter Eva with me. Since my 
separation from Lenna's mother I have 
never had more than one wife at a time. 
Since the death of Eva's mother I married 
another woman (December, 1905) but we 
could not live happily and separated. She 
went home to her people — that is an Apache 
divorce. 

Then, 1 as now, Mr. George Wratton su- 
perintended the Indians. He has always 
had trouble with the Indians, because he has 
mistreated them. One day an Indian, while 
drunk, stabbed Mr. Wratton with a little 
knife. The officer in charge took the part 
of Mr. Wratton and the Indian was sent to 
prison. 

When 2 we first came to Fort Sill, Cap- 
tain Scott was in charge, and he had houses 
built for us by the Government. We were 

i These are not the words of the Editor, but of Geronimo. 
2 They were in Alabama from May, 1888, to October, 
1894. 

179 



I 



GERONIMO 

also given, from the Government, cattle, 
hogs, turkeys and chickens. The Indians 
did not do much good with the hogs, because 
they did not understand how to care for 
them, and not many Indians even at the 
present time keep hogs. We did better with 
the turkeys and chickens, but with these we 
did not have as good luck as white men do. 
With the cattle we have done very well, in- 
deed, and we like to raise them. We have 
a few horses also, and have had no bad luck 
with them. 

In the matter of selling 3 our stock and 
grain there has been much misunderstand- 
ing. The Indians understood that the cat- 
tle were to be sold and the money given to 
them, but instead part of the money is given 
to the Indians and part of it is placed in 

3 The Indians are not allowed to sell the cattle them- 
selves. When cattle are ready for market they are sold 
by the officer in charge, part of the money paid to the 
Indians who owned them and part of it placed in a general 
(Apache) fund. The supplies, farming implements, etc., 
for the Apaches are paid for from this fund. 

180 



A PRISONER OF WAR 

what the officers call the "Apache Fund." 
We have had five different officers in charge 
of the Indians here and they have all ruled 
very much alike — not consulting the 
Apaches or even explaining to them. It 
may be that the Government ordered the 
officers in charge to put this cattle money 
into an Apache fund, for once I complained 
and told Lieutenant Purington 4 that I in- 
tended to report to the Government that he ^/ 
had taken some of my part of the cattle^ 
money and put it into the Apache Fund, he 
said he did not care if I did tell. 

Several years ago the issue of clothing 
ceased. This, too, may have been by the 
order of the Government, but the Apaches 
do not understand it. 

If there is an Apache Fund, it should 
some day be turned over to the Indians, or 

*The criticism of Lieutenant Purington is from Ge- 
ronimo. The Editor disclaims any responsibility for it, 
as in all cases where individuals are criticised by the old 
warrior. 

181 



6 



GERONIMO 

at least they should have an account of it, 
for it is their earnings. 

When General Miles last visited Fort 
Sill I asked to be relieved from labor on 
account of my age. I also remembered 
what General Miles had promised me in the 
treaty and told him of it. He said I need 
not work any more except when I wished 
to, and since that time I have not been de- 
tailed to do any work. I have worked a 
great deal, however, since then, for, although 
I am old, I like to work 5 and help my peo- 
ple as much as I am able. 

5 Geronimo helps make hay and care for the cattle, but 
does not receive orders from the Superintendent of the 
Indians. 



182 



PART IV 



THE OLD AND THE NEW 



CHAPTER XX 

UNWRITTEN LAWS OF THE APACHES 

Trials 

WHEN an Indian has been wronged 
by a member of his tribe he may, 
if he does not wish to settle the difficulty 
personally, make complaint to the Chieftain. 
If he is unable to meet the offending parties 
in a personal encounter, and disdains to 
make complaint, anyone may in his stead 
inform the chief of this conduct, and then 
it becomes necessary to have an investigation 
or trial. Both the accused and the accuser 
are entitled to witnesses, and their witnesses 
are not interrupted in any way by questions, 
but simply say what they wish to say in 
regard to the matter. The witnesses are not 
placed under oath, because it is not believed 
that they will give false testimony in a mat- 
ter relating to their own people. 

185 



GERONIMO 

The chief of the tribe presides during 
these trials, but if it is a serious offense he 
asks two or three leaders to sit with him. 
These simply determine whether or not the 
man is guilty. If he is not guilty the mat- 
ter is ended, and the complaining party has 
forfeited his right to take personal ven- 
geance, for if he wishes to take vengeance 
himself, he must object to the trial which 
would prevent it. If the accused is found 
guilty the injured party fixes the penalty, 
which is generally confirmed by the chief and 
his associates. 

Adoption of Children 

If any children are left orphans by the 
usage of war or otherwise, that is, if both 
parents are dead, the chief of the tribe may 
adopt them or give them away as he desires. 
In the case of outlawed Indians, they may, 
if they wish, take their children with them, 
but if they leave the children with the tribe, 
the chief decides what will be done with 

186 



UNWRITTEN LAWS 

them, but no disgrace attaches to the chil- 
dren. 

| " Salt Lake " 

We obtained our salt from a little lake in 
the Gila Mountains. This is a very small 
lake of clear, shallow water, and in the cen- 
ter a small mound arises above the surface 
of the water. The water is too salty to 
drink, and the bottom of the lake is covered 
with a brown crust. When this crust is 
broken cakes of salt adhere to it. These 
cakes of salt may be washed clear in the 
water of this lake, but if washed in other 
water will dissolve. 

When visiting this lake our people were 
not allowed to even kill game or attack an 
enemy. All creatures were free to go and 
come without molestation. 

Preparation of a Warrior 

To be admitted as a warrior a youth must 
have gone with the warriors of his tribe four 
separate times on the warpath. 

187 



GERONIMO 

On the first trip he will be given only very 
inferior food. With this he must be con- 
tented without murmuring. On none of 
the four trips is he allowed to select his food 
as the warriors do, but must eat such food 
as he is permitted to have. 

On each of these expeditions he acts as 
servant, cares for the horses, cooks the food, 
and does whatever duties he should do with- 
out being told. He knows what things are 
to be done, and without waiting to be told 
is to do them. He is not allowed to speak 
to any warrior except in answer to ques- 
tions or when told to speak. 

During these four wars he is expected to 
learn the sacred names of everything used 
in war, for after the tribe enters upon the 
warpath no common names are used in re- 
ferring to anything appertaining to war in 
any way. War is a solemn religious 
matter. 

If, after four expeditions, all the war- 
riors are satisfied that the youth has been 

188 



UNWRITTEN LAWS 

industrious, has not spoken out of order, 
has been discreet in all things, has shown 
courage in battle, has borne all hardships 
uncomplainingly, and has exhibited no color 
of cowardice, or weakness of any kind, he 
may by vote of the council be admitted as 
a warrior; but if any warrior objects to 
him upon any account he will be subjected 
to further tests, and if he meets these cour- 
ageously, his name may again be proposed. 
When he has proven beyond question that 
he can bear hardships without complaint, 
and that he is a stranger to fear, he is ad- 
mitted to the council of the warriors in the 
lowest rank. After this there is no formal 
test for promotions, but by common con- 
sent he assumes a station on the battlefield, 
and if that position is maintained with 
honor, he is allowed to keep it, and may be 
asked, or may volunteer, to take a higher 
station, but no warrior would presume to 
take a higher station unless he had assurance 
from the leaders of the tribe that his con- 

189 



GERONIMO 

duct in the first position was worthy of com- 
mendation. 

From this point upward the only election 
by the council in formal assembly is the elec- 
tion of the chief. 

Old men are not allowed to lead in battle, 
but their advice is always respected. Old 
age means loss of physical power and is 
fatal to active leadership. 

Dances 

All dances are considered religious cere- 
monies and are presided over by a chief and 
medicine men. They are of a social or mili- 
tary nature, but never without some sacred 
characteristic. 

A Dance of Thanksgiving 

Every summer we would gather the fruit 

of the yucca, grind and pulverize it and 

mold it into cakes; then the tribe would 

be assembled to feast, to sing, and to give 

praises to Usen. Prayers of Thanksgiving 

were said by all. When the dance began 

190 



13 ^ , 

t I 



• •> * e • * 




Chihuahua and Family 



UNWRITTEN LAWS 

the leaders bore these cakes and added 
words of praise occasionally to the usual 
tone sounds of the music. 

The War Dance 

After a council of the warriors had de- 
liberated, and had prepared for the warpath, 
the dance would be started. In this dance 
there is the usual singing led by the warriors 
and accompanied with the beating of the 
" esadadene," but the dancing is more vio- 
lent, and yells and war whoops sometimes 
almost drown the music. Only warriors 
participated in this dance. 

Scalp Dance 

After a war party has returned, a modifi- 
cation of the war dance is held. The war- 
riors who have brought scalps from the 
battles exhibit them to the tribe, and when 
the dance begins these scalps, elevated on 
poles or spears, are carried around the camp 
fires while the dance is in progress. During 
this dance there is still some of the solem- 

191 



GERONIMO 

nity of the war dance. There are yells and 
war whoops, frequently accompanied by dis- 
charge of firearms, but there is always more 
levity than would be permitted at a war 
dance. After the scalp dance is over the 
scalps are thrown away. No Apache would 
keep them, for they are considered defiling. 

A Social Dance 

In the early part of September, 1905, I 
announced among the Apaches that my 
daughter, Eva, having attained woman- 
hood, should now put away childish things 
and assume her station as a young lady. 
At a dance of the tribe she would make her 
debut, and then, or thereafter, it would be 
proper for a warrior to seek her hand in 
marriage. Accordingly, invitations were is- 
sued to all Apaches, and many Comanches 
and Kiowas, to assemble for a grand dance 
on the green by the south bank of Medi- 
cine Creek, near the village of Naiche, for- 
mer chief of the Chokonen Apaches, on 

192 



UNWRITTEN LAWS 

the first night of full moon in September. 
The festivities were to continue for two 
days and nights. Nothing was omitted in 
the preparation that would contribute to 
the enjoyment of the guests or the perfec- 
tion of the observance of the religious rite. 

To make ready for the dancing the grass 
on a large circular space was closely mowed. 

The singing was led by Chief Naiche, and 
I, assisted by our medicine men, directed 
the dance. 

First Eva advanced from among the 
women and danced once around the camp 
fire; then, accompanied by another young 
woman, she again advanced and both danced 
twice around the camp fire; then she and 
two other young ladies advanced and danced 
three times around the camp fire; the next 
time she and three other young ladies ad- 
vanced and danced four times around the 
camp fire; this ceremony lasted about one 
hour. Next the medicine men entered, 
stripped to the waist, their bodies painted 

193 



GERONIMO 

fantastically, and danced the sacred dances. 
They were followed by clown dancers, who 
amused the audience greatly. 

Then the members of the tribe joined 
hands and danced in a circle around the 
camp fire for a long time. All the friends 
of the tribe were asked to take part in this 
dance, and when it was ended many of the 
old people retired, and the " lovers' dance ' 
began. 

The warriors stood in the middle of the 
circle and the ladies, two-aid-two, danced 
forward and designated some warrior to 
dance with them. The dancing was back 
and forth on a line from the center to the 
outer edge of the circle. The warrior faced 
the two ladies, and when they danced for- 
ward to the center he danced backward: 
then they danced backward to the outer edge 
and he followed facing them. This lasted 
two or three hours and then the music 
changed. Immediately the warriors assem- 
bled again in the center of the circle, and 

194 



UNWRITTEN LAWS 

this time each lady selected a warrior as a 
partner. The manner of dancing was as be- 
fore, only two instead of three danced 
together. During this dance, which con- 
tinued until daylight, the warrior (if danc- 
ing with a maiden) could propose 1 mar- 
riage, and if the maiden agreed, he would 
consult her father soon afterward and make 
a bargain for her. 

Upon all such occasions as this, when the 
dance is finished, each warrior gives a pres- 
ent to the lady who selected him for a part- 
ner and danced with him. If she is satisfied 
with the present he says good-by, if not, the 
matter is referred to someone in authority 
(medicine man or chief), who determines 
the question of what is a proper gift. 

For a married lady the value of the pres- 

i Apache warriors do not go "courting" as our youths 
do. The associations in the villages afford ample op- 
portunity for acquaintance, and the arranging for mar- 
riages is considered a business transaction, but the courtesy 
of consulting the maiden, although not essential, is con- 
sidered very polite. 

195 



GERONIMO 

sent should be two or three dollars; for a 
maiden the present should have a value of 
not less than five dollars. Often, however, 
the maiden receives a very valuable present. 

During the " lovers' dance " the medicine 
men mingle with the dancers to keep out 
evil spirits. 

Perhaps I shall never again have cause 
to assemble our people to dance, but these 
social dances in the moonlight have been a 
large part of our enjoyment in the past, and 
I think they will not soon be discontinued, 
at least I hope not. 



196 



CHAPTER XXI 

AT THE WORLD'S FAIR 

WHEN I was at first asked to attend 
the St. Louis World's Fair I did 
not wish to go. Later, when I was told 
that I would receive good attention and 
protection, and that the President of the 
United States said that it would be all right, 
I consented. I was kept by parties in 
charge of the Indian Department, who had 
obtained permission from the President. I 
stayed in this place for six months. I sold 
my photographs for twenty-five cents, and 
was allowed to keep ten cents of this for 
myself. I also wrote my name for ten, fif- 
teen, or twenty-five cents, as the case might 
be, and kept all of that money. I often 
made as much as two dollars a day, and 
when I returned I had plenty of money — 
more than I had ever owned before. 

197 



GERONIMO 

Many people in St. Louis invited me to 
come to their homes, but my keeper always 
refused. 

Every Sunday the President of the Fair 
sent for me to go to a wild west show. I 
took part in the roping contests before the 
audience. There were many other Indian 
tribes there, and strange people of whom I 
had never heard. 

When people first came to the World's 
Fair they did nothing but parade up and 
down the streets. When they got tired of 
this they would visit the shows. There were 
many strange things in these shows. The 
Government sent guards with me when I 
went, and I was not allowed to go anywhere 
without them. 

In one of the shows some strange men * 
with red caps had some peculiar swords, and 
they seemed to want to fight. Finally their 
manager told them they might fight each 
other. They tried to hit each other over the 

i Turks. 
198 



AT THE WORLD'S FAIR 

head with these swords, and I expected both 
to be wounded or perhaps killed, but neither 
one was harmed. They would be hard peo- 
ple to kill in a hand-to-hand fight. 

In another show there was a strange-look- 
ing negro. The manager tied his hands 
fast, then tied him to a chair. He was se- 
curely tied, for I looked myself, and I did 
not think it was possible for him to get 
away. Then the manager told him to get 
loose. 

He twisted in his chair for a moment, 
and then stood up ; the ropes were still tied, 
but he was free. I do not understand how 
this was done. It was certainly a miraculous 
power, because no man could have released 
himself by his own efforts. 

In another place a man was on a platform 
speaking to the audience; they set a basket 
by the side of the platform and covered it 
with red calico ; then a woman came and got 
into the basket, and a man covered the 
basket again with the calica; then the man 

199 



GERONIMO 

who was speaking to the audience took a 
long sword and ran it through the basket, 
each way, and then down through the cloth 
cover. I heard the sword cut through the 
woman's body, and the manager himself 
said she was dead; but when the cloth was 
lifted from the basket she stepped out, 
smiled, and walked off the stage. I would 
like to know how she was so quickly healed, 
and why the wounds did not kill her. 

I have never considered bears very intelli- 
gent, except in their wild habits, but I had 
never before seen a white bear. In one of 
the shows a man had a white bear that 
was as intelligent as a man. He would do 
whatever he was told — carry a log on his 
shoulder, just as a man would; then, when 
he was told, would put it down again. He 
did many other things, and seemed to know 
exactly what his keeper said to him. I am 
sure that no grizzly bear could be trained to 
do these things. 

One time the guards took me into a little 

200 







Mrs. Asa Deklugie Eva Geronimo 

Niece of Geronimo and daughter Geronimo's youngest daughter, 

of Chihuahua, a famous Apache 16 years old 

chieftain 



AT THE WORLD'S FAIR 

house 2 that had four windows. When we 
were seated the little house started to move 
along the ground. Then the guards called 
my attention to some curious things they 
had in their pockets. Finally they told me 
to look out, and when I did so I was scared, 
for our little house had gone high up in 
the air, and the people down in the Fair 
Grounds looked no larger than ants. The 
men laughed at me for being scared; then 
they gave me a glass to look through (I 
often had such glasses which I took from 
dead officers after battles in Mexico and 
elsewhere), and I could see rivers, lakes 
and mountains. But I had never been so 
high in the air, and I tried to look into the 
sky. There were no stars, and I could not 
look at the sun through this glass because 
the brightness hurt my eyes. Finally I put 
the glass down, and as they were all laugh- 
ing at me, I too, began to laugh. Then they 
said, " Get out! " and when I looked we were 

2 Ferris wheel. 
201 



GERONIMO 

on the street again. After we were safe 
on the land I watched many of these little 
houses going up and coming down, but I 
cannot understand how they travel. They 
are very curious little houses. 

One day we went into another show, and 
as soon as we were in, it changed into night. 
It was real night, for I could feel the damp 
air; soon it began to thunder, and the light- 
nings flashed ; it was real lightning, too, for 
it struck just above our heads. I dodged 
and wanted to run away, but I could not 
tell which way to go in order to get out. 
The guards motioned me to keep still, and 
so I stayed. In front of us were some 
strange little people who came out on the 
platform; then I looked up again and the 
clouds were all gone, and I could see the 
stars shining. The little people on the plat- 
form did not seem in earnest about anything 
they did; so I only laughed at them. All the 
people around where we sat seemed to be 
laughing at me. 

202 



AT THE WORLD'S FAIR 

We went into another place and the man- 
ager took us into a little room that was made 
like a cage; then everything around us 
seemed to be moving; soon the air looked 
blue, then there were black clouds moving 
with the wind. Pretty soon it was clear 
outside ; then we saw a few thin white clouds ; 
then the clouds grew thicker, and it rained 
and hailed with thunder and lightning. Then 
the thunder retreated and a rainbow ap- 
peared in the distance ; then it became dark, 
the moon rose and thousands of stars came 
out. Soon the sun came up, and we got out 
of the little room. This was a good show, 
but it was so strange and unnatural that I 
was glad to be on the streets again. 

We went into one place where they made 
glassware. I had always thought that these 
things were made by hand, but they are not. 
The man had a curious little instrument, and 
whenever he would blow through this into a 
little blaze the glass would take any shape 
he wanted it to. I am not sure, but I think 

203 



GERONTMO 

that if I had this kind of an instrument 
I could make whatever I wished. There 
seems to be a charm about it. But I sup- 
pose it is very difficult to get these little 
instruments, or other people would have 
them. The people in this show were so 
anxious to buy the things the man made 
that they kept him so busy he could not sit 
down all day long. I bought many curious 
things in there and brought them home 
with me. 

At the end of one of the streets some 
people were getting into a clumsy canoe, 
upon a kind of shelf, and sliding down into 
the water. 3 They seemed to enjoy it, but it 
looked too fierce for me. If one of these 
canoes had gone out of its path the peo- 
ple would have been sure to get hurt or 
killed. 

There were some little brown people 4 at 
the Fair that United States troops captured 

« Shooting the Chute. 

* Iggorrotes from the Philippines. 

204 



AT THE WORLD'S FAIR 

recently on some islands far away from 
here. 

They did not wear much clothing, and I 
think that they should not have been allowed 
to come to the Fair. But they themselves 
did not seem to know any better. They had 
some little brass plates, and they tried to 
play music with these, but I did not think 
it was music — it was only a rattle. How- 
ever, they danced to this noise and seemed 
to think they were giving a fine show. 

I do not know how true the report was, 
but I heard that the President sent them to 
the Fair so that they could learn some man- 
ners, and when they went home teach 
their people how to dress and how to be- 
have. 

I am glad I went to the Fair. I saw 
many interesting things and learned much 
of the white people. They are a very kind 
and peaceful people. During all the time I 
was at the Fair no one tried to harm me in 
any way. Had this been among the Mex- 

205 



+ 



GERONIMO 

icans I am sure I should have been com- 
pelled to defend myself often. 

I wish all my people could have attended 
the Fair. 5 

6 Geronimo was also taken to both the Omaha and the 
Buffalo Expositions, but during that period of his life he 
was sullen and took no interest in things. The St. Louis 
Exposition was held after he had adopted the Christian 
religion and had begun to try to understand our civilization. 



206 



CHAPTER XXII 

RELIGION 

IN our primitive worship only our rela- 
tions to Usen and the members of our 
tribe were considered as appertaining to our 
religious responsibilities. As to the future 
state, the teachings of our tribe were not 
specific, that is, we had no definite idea of 
our relations and surroundings in after life. 
We believed that there is a life after this 
one, but no one ever told me as to what part 
of man lived after death. I have seen many 
men die; I have seen many human bodies 
decayed, but I have never seen that part 
which is called the spirit; I do not know 
what it is; nor have I yet been able to un- 
derstand that part of the Christian religion. 
We held that the discharge of one's duty 
would make his future life more pleasant, 
but whether that future life was worse than 

% 207 



GERONIMO 

this life or better, we did not know, and no 
one was able to tell us. We hoped that in 
the future life family and tribal relations 
would be resumed. In a way we believed 
this, but we did not know it. 

Once when living in San Carlos Reserva- 
tion an Indian told me that while lying un- 
conscious on the battlefield he had actually 
been dead, and had passed into the spirit 
land. 

First he came to a mulberry tree growing 
out from a cave in the ground. Before this 
cave a guard was stationed, but when he 
approached without fear the guard let him 
pass. He descended into the cave, and a 
little way back the path widened and termi- 
nated in a perpendicular rock many hun- 
dreds of feet wide and equal in height. 
There was not much light, but by peering 
directly beneath him he discovered a pile of 
sand reaching from the depths below to 
within twenty feet of the top of the rock 
where he stood. Holding to a bush, he 

208 



RELIGION 

swung off from the edge of the rock and 
dropped onto the sand, sliding rapidly down 
its steep side into the darkness. He landed 
in a narrow passage running due westward 
through a canon which gradually grew 
lighter and lighter until he could see as well 
as if it had been daylight ; but there was no 
sun. Finally he came to a section of this 
passage that was wider for a short distance, 
and then closing abruptly continued in a 
narrow path; just where this section nar- 
rowed two huge serpents were coiled, and 
rearing their heads, hissed at him as he ap- 
proached, but he showed no fear, and as soon 
as he came close to them they withdrew 
quietly and let him pass. At the next place, 
where the passage opened into a wider sec- 
tion, were two grizzly bears prepared to at- 
tack him, but when he approached and spoke 
to them they stood aside and he passed un- 
harmed. He continued to follow the nar- 
row passage, and the third time it widened 
and two mountain lions crouched in the way, 

209 



GERONIMO 

but when he had approached them without 
fear and had spoken to them they also with- 
drew. He again entered the narrow pas- 
sage. For some time he followed this, 
emerging into a fourth section beyond 
which he could see nothing: the further 
walls of this section were clashing together 
at regular intervals with tremendous sounds, 
but when he approached them they stood 
apart until he had passed. After this he 
seemed to be in a forest, and following the 
natural draws, which led westward, soon 
came into a green valley where there were 
many Indians camped and plenty of game. 
He said that he saw and recognized many 
whom he had known in this life, and that 
he was sorry when he was brought back to 
consciousness. 

I told him if I knew this to be true I 
would not want to live another day, but by 
some means, if by my own hands, I would 
die in order to enjoy these pleasures. I my- 
self have lain unconscious on the battlefield, 

210 



i ■>■> t J 



, •> »» 







Ready for Chukch 



RELIGION 

and while in that condition have had some 
strange thoughts or experiences; but they 
are very dim and I cannot recall them well 
enough to relate them. Many Indians be- 
lieved this warrior, and I cannot say that he 
did not tell the truth. I wish I knew that 
what he said is beyond question true. But 
perhaps it is as well that we are not certain. 

Since my life as a prisoner has begun I 
have heard the teachings of the white man's 
religion, and in many respects believe it to 
be better than the religion of my fathers. 
However, I have always prayed, and I be- 
lieve that the Almighty has always pro- 
tected me. 

Believing that in a wise way it is good to 
go to church, and that associating with 
Christians would improve my character, I 
have adopted the Christian religion. 1 I be- 

i Geronimo joined the Dutch Reformed church and was -$ 
baptized in the summer of 1903. He attends the serv- 
ices regularly at the Apache Mission, Ft. Sill Military- 
Reservation. 

211 



GERONIMO 

lieve that the church has helped me much 

during the short time I have been a member. 

•" I am not ashamed to be a Christian, and I 

am glad to know that the President of the 

United States is a Christian, for without the 

help of the Almighty I do not think he could 

rightly judge in ruling so many people. I 

r have advised all of my people who are not 

\ Christians, to study that religion, because it 

\ seems to me the best religion in enabling one 

jto live right. 



212 



CHAPTER XXIII 

HOPES FOR THE FUTURE 

1AM thankful that the President of the 
United States has given me permission 
to tell my story. I hope that he and those 

in authority under him will read my story 
and judge whether my people have been 
rightly treated. 

There is a great question between the 
Apaches and the Government. For twenty 
years we have been held prisoners of war 
under a treaty which was made with General 
Miles, on the part of the United States Gov- 
ernment, and myself as the representative 
of the Apaches. That treaty has not at all 
times been properly observed by the Gov- 
ernment, although at the present time it is 
being more nearly fulfilled on their part 
than heretofore. In the treaty with General 
Miles we agreed to go to a place outside of 

21$ 



GERONIMO 

Arizona and learn to live as the white people 
do. I think that my people are now capable 
of living in accordance with the laws of the 
United States, and we would, of course, like 
to have the liberty to return to that land 
which is ours by divine right. We are reduced 
in numbers, and having learned how to culti- 
vate the soil would not require so much 
ground as was formerly necessary. We do 
not ask all of the land which the Almighty 
gave us in the beginning, but that we may 
have sufficient lands there to cultivate. 
What we do not need we are glad for the 
I white men to cultivate. 

We are now held on Comanche and 
Kiowa lands, which are not suited to our 
needs — these lands and this climate are 
suited to the Indians who originally in- 
habited this country, of course, but our 
people are decreasing in numbers here, and 
will continue to decrease unless they are 
allowed to return to their native land. Such 
a result is inevitable. 

2!4 



HOPES FOR THE FUTURE 

There is no climate or soil which, to my 
mind, is equal to that of Arizona. We 
could have plenty of good cultivating land, 
plenty of grass, plenty of timber and plenty 
of minerals in that land which the Almighty 
created for the Apaches. It is my land, my 
home, my fathers' land, to which I now ask 
to be allowed to return. I want to spend 
my last days there, and be buried among 
those mountains. If this could be I might 
die in peace, feeling that my people, placed 
in their native homes, would increase in num- 
bers, rather than diminish as at present, and 
that our name would not become extinct. 

I know that if my people were placed in 
that mountainous region lying around the 
headwaters of the Gila River they would 
live in peace and act according to the will 
of the President. They would be prosper- 
ous and happy in tilling the soil and learn- 
ing the civilization of the white men, whom 
they now respect. Could I but see this ac- 
complished, I think I could forget all the 

215 



A 



GERONIMO 

wrongs that I have ever received, and die 
a contented and happy old man. But we 
can do nothing in this matter ourselves — we 
must wait until those in authority choose to 
act. If this cannot be done during my life- 
time — if I must die in bondage — I hope that 
the remnant of the Apache tribe may, when 
£ I am gone, be granted the one privilege 
which they request — to return to Arizona. 



'. 



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